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HEARINGS  REGARDING  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTRATION 
OF  THE  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 


HEARINGS 

BEFORE  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  UN-AMERICAN  ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTIETH  CONGRESS 

FIRST  SESSION 


Public  Law  601 

(Section  121,  Subsection  Q  (2)) 


OCTOBER  20,  21,  22,  23,  24,  27,  28,  29,  AND  30,  1947 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities 


HEARINGS  REGARDING  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTRATION 
OF  THE  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 


HEARINGS 

BEFORE  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  UN-AMERICAN  ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTIETH  CONGKESS 

FIRST  SESSION 


Public  Law  601 

(Section  121,  Subsection  Q  (2)) 


OCTOBER  20,  21,  22,  23,  24,  27,  28,  29,  AND  30,  1947 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities 


UNITED  STATES 
GOVERNMENT  PRINTING   OFFICE 
67683  WASHINGTON  :  1947 


DFC    9   1947 


6  ^A" 


COMMITTEE  ON  UN-AMERICAN  ACTIVITIES 

J.  PARNELL  THOMAS,  New  Jersey,  Chairman 
KARL  E.  MUNDT,  South  Dakota  JOHN  S.  WOOD,  Georgia 

JOHN  Mcdowell,  Pennsylvania  JOHN  E.  RANKIN,  Mississippi 

RICHARD  M.  NIXON,  California  J.  HARDIN  PETERSON,  Florida 

RICHARD  B.  VAIL,  Illinois  HERBERT  C.  BONNER,  North  Carolina 

Robert  E.  Stripling,  Chief  Investigator 
Benjamin  Mandel,  Director  o/  Research 
XI 


CONTENTS 


October  20,  1947: 

Testimony  of —  Page 

H.  a"  Smith 4 

A.  B.  Leckie 5 

Louis  J.  Russell 6 

Jack  L.  Warner 7 

Samuel  Gros venor  Wood 54 

Louis  Burt  Mayer 69 

Ayn  Rand 82 

October  21,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

Adolph  Menjou 91 

John  Charles  Moffitt . 108 

Rupert  Hughes 128 

October  22,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

James  K.  McGuiimess 135 

Robert  Taylor 164 

Howard  Rushmore 171 

Morrie  Ryskind 181 

October  23,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

Fred  Niblo 189 

Richard  Macaulay 197 

Robert  Montgomery 203 

George  L.  Murphy 208 

Ronald  Reagan 213~ 

Gary  Cooper 219 

Leo  McCarey 225 

October  24,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

Lela  E.  Rogers J :__.  229 

Ohver  Carlson 238 

Walter  E.  Disney 280 

October  27,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

John  Howard  Lawson 290 

Louis  J.  Russell 296 

Eric  Allen  Johnston 305 

October  28,  1947: 

Testimony  of — 

-  Dalton  Trumbo 329 

Louis  J.  Russell 34 1 

Roy  M.  Brewer 342 

Statement  of  Paul  V.  McNutt 360 

Testimony  of — 

Albert  Maltz 363 

Robert  W.  Kenny 367 

Louis  J.  Russell 370 

Alyah  Bessie 383 

Louis  J.  Russell 388 

Roy  M.  Brewer  (resumed) 394 

ni 


ly  CONTENTS 

October  29,  1947: 

Testimony  of—  Page 

Samuel  Ornitz 402 

Louis  J.  Russell 405 

Herbert  Joseph  Biberman 412 

Louis  J.  Russell 415 

Emmet  G.  Lavery 419 

Edward  Dmvtryk 459 

Louis  J.  Russell 462 

Adrian  Scott " 466 

Louis  J.  Russell 468 

Dore  Schary 469 

October  30,  1947: 
Testimony  of — 

Ring  Lardner,  Jr 479 

Loviis  J.  Russell 483 

Lester  Cole 486 

Louis  J.  Russell 4*^9 

Berthold  Brecht 491 

Louis  J.  Russell 5^4 

Appendix 523 


HEARINGS  REGARDINrT  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTEATION 
OF  THE  MOTION-PICTUEE-INDUSTHY  ACTIVITIES  IN 
THE  UNITED  STATES 


MONDAY,   OCTOBER   20,    1947 

House  of  Representati\'es, 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities, 

Washington^  D.  C. 

The  committee  met  at  10 :  30  ca.  m.,  Hon.  J.  Parnell  Thomas  (chair- 
man) presiding. 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order.  The  record  will 
show  that  the  following  members  are  present:  Mr.  McDowell,  Mr. 
Vail,  Mr.  Nixon,  Mr.  Thomas.    A  subcommittee  is  sitting. 

Staff  members  present :  Mr.  Robert  E.  Stripling,  chief  investigator; 
Messrs.  Louis  J.  Russell,  Robert  B.  Gaston,  H.  A.  Smith,  and  A.  B. 
Leckie,  investigators;  and  Mr.  Benjamin  Mandel,  director  of  research. 
Before  this  hearing  get  under  way,  I  would  like  to  call  attention  to 
some  of  the  basic  principles  by  which  the  Committee  on  Un-American 
Activities  is  being  guided  in  its  investigation  into  alleged  subversive 
influence  in  America's  motion-picture  industry. 

The  committee  is  well  aware  of  the  magnitude  of  the  subject  which 
it  is  investigating.  The  motion-picture  business  represents  an  invest- 
ment of  billions  of  dollars.  It  represents  employment  for  thousands 
of  workers,  ranging  from  unskilled  laborers  to  high-salaried  actors 
and  executives.  And  even  more  important,  the  motion-picture  indus- 
try represents  wdiat  is  probably  the  largest  single  vehicle  of  enter- 
tainment for  the  American  public — over  85,000,000  persons  attend  the 
movies  each  week. 

However,  it  is  the  very  magnitude  of  the  scope  of  the  motion-picture 
industry  which  makes  this  investigation  so  necessary.  We  all  recog- 
nize, certainl}'-,  the  tremendous  effect  which  moving  pictures  have  on 
their  mass  audiences,  far  removed  from  the  Hollywood  sets.  We  all 
recognize  that  what  the  citizen  sees  and  hears  in  his  neighborhood 
movie  house  carries  a  pow^erful  impact  on  his  thoughts  and  behavior. 

With  such  vast  influence  over  the  lives  of  American  citizens  as  the 
motion-picture  industry  exerts,  it  is  not  unnatural — in  fact,  it  is  very 
logical — that  subversive  and  undemocratic  forces  should  attempt  to 
use  this  medium  for  un-American  purposes. 

I  want  to  emphasize  at  the  outset  of  these  hearings  that  the  fact 
that  the  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities  is  investigating  al- 
leged Communist  influence  and  infiltration  in  the  motion-picture 
industry  must  not  be  considered  or  interpreted  as  an  attack  on  the 
majority  of  persons  associated  with  this  great  industry.  I  have  every 
confidence  that  the  vast  majority  of  movie  workers  are  patriotic  and 
loyal  Americans. 

1 


2  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

This  committee,  under  its  mandate  from  the  House  of  Kepresenta- 
tives,  has  the  responsibility  of  exposing  and  spotlighting  subversive 
elements  Avherever  tliey  may  exist.  As  I  have  already  pointed  out,  it 
is  only  to  be  expected  that  such  elements  would  strive  desperately  to 
gain  entry  to  the  motion-picture  industry,  simply  because  the  industry 
offers  such  a  tremendous  weapon  for  education  and  propaganda.  That 
Communists  have  made  such  an  attempt  in  Hollywood  and  with  con- 
siderable success  is  already  evident  to  this  committee  from  its  pre- 
liminary investigative  work. 

The  problem  of  Communist  infiltration  is  not  limited  to  the  movie 
industry.  That  even  our  Federal  Government  has  not  been  immune 
from  the  menate  is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  $11,000,000  is  now  being  - 
spent  to  rid  the  Federal  service  of  Communists.  Communists  are 
also  firmly  entrenched  in  control  of  a  number  of  large  and  powerful 
labor  unions  in  this  country.  Yet  simply  because  there  are  Com- 
munist union  leaders  among  the  longshoremen  or  seamen,  for  example, 
one  does  not  infer  that  the  owners  of  the  shipping  industries  are  Com- 
munists and  Communist  sympathizers,  or  that  the  majority  of  work- 
ers in  those  industries  hold  to  an  un-American  philosophy.  So  it  is 
with  the  movie  industry. 

I  cannot  emphasize  too  strongly  the  seriousness  of  Communist 
infiltration,  which  we  have  found  to  be  a  mutual  problem  for  many, 
many  different  fields  of  endeavor  in  the  United  States.  Communists 
for  years  have  been  conducting  an  unrelentless  "boring  from  within" 
campaign  against  America's  democratic  institutions.  While  never 
possessing  a  large  numerical  strength,  the  Communists  nevertheless 
have  found  that  they  could  dominate  the  activities  of  unions  or  otlier 
mass  enterprises  in  this  country  by  capturing  a  few  strategic  posi- 
tions of  leadership. 

This  technique,  I  am  sorry  to  say,  has  been  amazingly  profitable  for 
the  Communists.  And  they  have  been  aided  all  along  the  line  by 
non-Communists,  who  are  either  sympathetic  to  the  aims  of  com- 
munism or  are  unwilling  to  recognize  the  danger  in  Communist 
infiltration. 

The  ultimate  purpose  of  the  Communists  is  a  well-established  fact. 
Despite  sporadic  statements  made  to  the  contrary  for  reasons  of 
expediency,  the  Communist  movement  looks  to  the  establishment  of 
Soviet-dominated,  totalitarian  governments  in  all  of  the  countries 
of  the  world,  and  the  Communists  are  willing  to  use  force  and  violence 
to  achieve  this  aim  if  necessary. 

The  United  States  is  one  of  the  biggest  obstacles  to  this  movement. 
The  fact  was  startlingly  illustrated  recently  by  the  open  announce- 
ment of  the  Communist  International — a  world-wide  party  organiza- 
tion dedicated  to  promoting  world-wide  Communist  revolution,  which 
previously  operated  underground. 

The  vituperation  leveled  at  the  United  States  by  this  new  interna- 
tional Communist  organization  clearly  indicated  that  America  is 
considered  the  chief  stumbling  block  in  the  Soviet  plans  for  world 
domination  and  is  therefore  the  chief  target  in  what  we  might  call 
the  Soviet  Union's  ideological  war  against  non-Soviet  governments. 

There  is  no  question  that  there  are  Communists  in  Hollywood.  We 
cannot  minimize  their  importance  there,  and  that  their  influence  has 
already  made  itself  felt  has  been  evidenced  by  internal  turmoil  in  the 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  3 

industry  over  the  Communist  issue.  Prominent  figures  in  the  motion- 
picture  business  have  been  engaged  in  a  sort  of  running  battle  over 
Comnumist  infiltration  for  the  last  4  or  5  years  and  a  number  of  anti- 
Communist  organizations  have  been  set  up  within  the  industry  in  an 
attempt  to  combat  this  menace. 

The  question  before  this  conunittee,  therefore,  and  the  scope  of  its 
present  inquiry,  will  be  to  determine  the  extent  of  Communist  infiltra- 
tion in  the  Hollywood  motion-picture  industry.  We  want  to  know 
what  strategic  positions  in  the  industry  have  been  captured  by  these 
elements,  whose  loyalty  is  pledged  in  word  and  deed  to  the  interests 
of  a  foreign  power. 

The  conunittee  is  determined  that  the  hearings  shall  be  fair  and 
impartial.  We  have  subpenaed  witnesses  representing  both  sides 
of  the  question.     All  we  are  after  are  the  facts. 

Now,  I  want  to  make  it  clear  to  the  witnesses,  the  audience,  the  mem- 
bers of  the  press,  and  other  guests  here  today  that  this  hearing  is 
going  to  be  conducted  in  an  orderly  and  dignified  manner  at  all  times. 
But  if  there  is  anyone  here  today  or  at  any  of  the  future  sessions  of 
this  hearing  who  entei'tains  any  hopes  or  plans  for  disrupting  the  pro- 
ceedings, he  may  as  well  dismiss  it  from  his  mind. 

Mr.  Kenny.  Mr.  Chairman 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Kenny.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  am  attorney  for  the  19  subpenaed 
witnesses,  as  is  Mr.  Bartley  Crum.  You  recall  that  we  submitted  a 
telegram  yesterday  on  a  motion  to  quash.  It  seems  to  me  that  the 
most  orderly  way  that  we  can  present  this  would  be  to  do  so  before  a 
witness  has  been  sworn  under  any  subpena  as  the  motion  would  be 
identical  for  any  witness.  If  the  committee  is  without  constitutional 
authority  to  proceed  to 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute.     May  I  ask  your  name,  please? 

Mr.  Kenny.  Robert  Kenny,  and  this  is  my  associate,  Mr.  Bartley 
Crum. 

The  Chairman.  And  you  represent  the  19  witnesses  whose  names 
were  listed  in  the  telegram  sent  to  me  this  morning? 

Mr.  Kenny.  That  is  right,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Tlie  Ciiair^ian.  INIr.  Kenny,  these  Avitnesses  of  yours  will  not  be 
called  until  next  week,  they  will  not  come  up  today  at  all,  or  any  other 
day  this  week.  So  if  you  will  present  your  statement  to  the  committee, 
we  will  take  it  under  advisement,  and  then  you  can  argue  the  ques- 
tion, if  the  committee  sees  fit,  when  your  witnesses  come  up  next  Mon- 
day— I  believe  the  first  witnesses  are  to  come  up  Monday  or  Tuesday 
or  Wednesday.  So  if  you  will  just  present  your  statement  to  the 
committee. 

Mr.  Crum.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  file 

The  Chairman.  Present  your  statement  to  the  committee. 

Mr.  Crum.  Thank  j^ou.  I  would  like  to  file  this  with  you,  Mr. 
Chairman. 

(A  paper  was  handed  to  Mr.  Stripling.) 

The  Chairman.  That  will  be  filed.  You  discuss  the  matter  further 
when  you  present  your  witnesses  to  tlie  committee. 

Mr.  Stripling,  the  first  witness  today. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  will  ask  Mr.  H.  A.  Smith  to  take  the  stand. 

Mr.  Kenny.  Mr.  Chairman 


4  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sorry.    Just  a  minute. 

I  am  very  sorry,  but  we  have  a  certain  procedure  to  follow.  You, 
as  the  former  Attorney  General  in  the  State  of  California,  know 
how  important  it  is  to  follow  the  procedure.  You  also  know  the 
great  necessity  for  order.  It  will  probably  be  difficult  to  maintain 
order  in  these  hearings.  So  you  will  just  have  to  bear  with  us,  Mr. 
Kenny.  You  may  come  back  when  you  present  your  witnesses  next 
week. 

Mr.  Kenny.  Mr.  Chairman 

The  Chairman.  That  is  all. 

Mr.  Crum.  May  we  ask  if  we  have  a  right  to  cross-examine? 

The  Chairman.  You  may  not  ask  one  more  thing  at  this  time. 
Please  be  seated. 

Mr.  Crum.  Certainly  American. 

The  Chairman.  Kaise  your  right  hand,  please. 

Do  3^ou  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  shall  give  will  be 
the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth? 

Mr.  Smith.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Be  seated,  please. 

TESTIMONY  OF  H.  A.  SMITH 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Smith,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address. 

Mr.  Smith.  My  name  is  H.  A.  Smith.  I  reside  at  1514  Bel  Aire 
Drive,  Glendale,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Smith.  I  was  born  in  Dixon,  111.,  in  October  1909. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Smith,  were  you  ever  employed  by  the  Federal 
Bureau  of  Investigation? 

Mr.  S]MiTH.  I  was.  I  was  employed  as  a  special  agent  of  the  Federal 
Bureau  of  Investigation  from  193.5  to  and  including  1942. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  outline  for  the  committee  the  various 
positions  you  have  held  in  the  Bureau,  and  the  nature  of  your  work? 

Mr.  Smith.  During  that  period  of  time  I  worked  in  a  number  of 
various  field  offices,  the  last  5  years  of  which  I  was  assigned  to  the 
Los  Angeles  office.  While  there  I  was  what  is  called  a  No.  1  man, 
or  assistant  to  the  agent  in  charge. 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute.  We  will  have  to  have  more  order. 
We  will  particularly  have  to  have  more  order  from  our  friends,  the 
photographers.     We  just  can't  hear  the  witness.- 

Go  ahead. 

The  Witness.  During  that  time  I  was  in  charge  of  the  internal 
security  investigations  of  the  Los  Angeles  field  division,  which  had 
to  do  with  matters  relating  to  the  national  defense,  espionage,  sabotage, 
and  all  of  those  related  articles — fascism,  nazism,  and  communism. 

After  resigning  from  the  Federal  Bui'oau  of  Investigation  in  1942 
I  was  manager  of  plant  protection  at  Lockheed  Aircraft  in  charge  of 
security  from  1942  until  1944,  since  which  time  I  have  returned  to  the 
practice  of  law  and  investigation  at  Los  Angeles. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Smith,  were  you  appointed  on  July  18,  1947,  as 
a  special  investigator  to  conduct  investigations  for  the  Committee  on 
Un-American  Activities  into  alleged  Communist  influences  in  the 
motion-picture  industry  ?  ■ 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  5 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir;  I  was;  and  since  that  time  I  have  been  en- 
o;ao;ed  continuously  in  interviewing  hundreds  of  people,  reviewing 
files,  working  practically  night  and  day,  and  Saturday,  and  Sundays, 
in  an  effort  to  gather  information  to  present  to  this  committee.  Dur- 
ing the  ensuing  session  I  have  been  assisted  in  the  investigation  by 
Mr.  A.  B.  Leckie. 

The  Chairman.  Let  the  record  show  that  Mr.  Wood  is  present  and 
a  quorum  of  the  full  committee  is  present. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  have  been  assisted  by  Mr,  A.  B.  Leckie — L-e-c-k-i-e. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at 
this  time  of  Mr.  Smith. 

The  Chairman.  Do  any  of  the  members  have  any  questions  of  Mr. 
Smith? 

Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  IMcDowell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

Mr.  Stripling.  This  is  purely  for  the  purpose  of  identification. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  No. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  now  ask  Mr.  Leckie  to  take  the  stand. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are 
about  to  give  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the 
truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Leckie.  I  do. 

TESTIMONY  OF  A.  B.  LECKIE 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Leckie,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and  pres- 
ent address? 

Mr.  Leckie.  A.  B.  Leckie,  449  North  Orlando  Street,  Los  Angeles, 
Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  "Wlien  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Leckie.  Born  in  Greenville,  Ala.,  1905. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Leckie,  were  j^ou  ever  employed  by  the  Federal 
Bureau  of  Investigation  ? 

Mr.  Leckie.  I  was. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  outline  for  the  committee  the  positions  you 
held  with  the  Bureau  ? 

Mr.  Leckie.  I  served  1  year  as  administrative  assistant  to  ]\Ir. 
Hoover.  I  was  a  year  and  a  half  in  charge  of  the  Philadelphia  office 
and  was  assigned  to  other  offices  prior  to  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  held  any  other  positions,  either  in  the 
Bureau  or  in  the  armed  services  of  the  LTnited  States,  which  would 
qualify  you  as  an  investigator? 

Mr.  Leckie.  I  served  in  a  similar  capacity  with  the  United  States 
Navy  during  the  war. 

IVIr.  Stripling.  From  what  period  ? 

Mr.  Leckie.  From  1942  to  1945,  inclusive. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Leckie,  you  were  appointed  on  Julj^  18,  1947, 
as  a  special  investigator  to  assist  Mr.  Smith  in  his  investigation  of 


6  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

alleged  Communist  activity  in  the  motion-picture  industry;  is  that 
true  ? 

Mr,  Leckie.  I  was;  and  I  have  worked  continuously  with  him 
through  the  entire  time. 

]Mr.  Stribling.  That  is  all,  Mr.  Chairman,  at  this  time. 

The  Chairman.  Do  any  members  of  the  committee  have  any  ques- 
tions ? 

(No  response.) 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you,  Mr,  Leckie. 

Mr.  Stribling.  Next,  I  would  like  to  call  Mr.  Louis  J.  Kussell. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Russell,  do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testi- 
mon}^  you  are  about  to  give  shall  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth? 

Mr.  Russell.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  LOUIS  J.  RUSSELL 

Mr.  Stribling.  Will  you  state  your  full  name  and  present  address, 
Mr.  Russell? 

Mr.  Russell.  Louis  J.  Russell,  Washington,  D.  C. 

Mr.  Stribling.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Russell.  Louisville,  Ky.,  December  16, 1911. 

Mr.  Stribling,  You  are  presently  a  member  of  the  investigative  staff 
of  the  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities? 

Mr,  Russell.  I  am,  sir. 

Mr.  Stribling.  How  long  have  you  been  an  investigator  for  the 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities? 

Mr,  Russell,  Since  May  1945. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  ever  employed  by  the  Federal  Bureau  of 
Investigation  ? 

Mr,  Russell.  I  was  employed  by  the  Federal  Bureau  of  Investiga- 
tion for  a  period  of  10  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  positions  did  you  hold  with  the  Bureau  as  an 
investigative  agent? 

Mr.  Russell.  While  with  the  Bureau  I  served  in  the  Indianapolis, 
Newark,  Washington,  Hartford,  and  Oklahoma  field  divisions. 
While  attached  to  the  Newark  field  division  I  was  supervising  agent 
in  charge  of  accounting,  criminal  investigation,  and  allied  subjects. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  at  any  time  been  detailed  by  the 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities  to  proceed  to  Hollywood  to 
conduct  an  investigation  into  alleged  Communist  influences  in  the 
motion-picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  Russell.  Yes ;  I  was ;  in  1945,  during  the  month  of  August,  I 
conducted  an  approximately  3-week  investigation  in  Hollywood, 
Calif.,  and  following  that  I  conducted  further  investigation  in  Wash- 
ington, D.  C,  and  other  cities  relating  to  the  Hollywood  motion- 
picture  industry. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  proceed  to  Hollywood  this  year  for  the 
purpose  of  making  an  investigation? 

Mr.  Russell.  Yes,  sir ;  during  the  month  of  May  1947. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  all,  Mr,  Chairman. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  7 

The  Chairman.  Does  any  rneniber  of  the  committee  have  any 
questions  to  ask  ? 

(No  response.) 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  desire  to  call 
is  Mr.  Jack  L.  Warner. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are 
about  to  give  shall  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but 
the  truth  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  do. 

TESTIMONY  OF  JACK  L.  WAKNER 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  are  you  accompanied  by  counsel? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  identify  your  counsel? 

Mr.  Warner.  Mr.  Paul  V.  McNutt. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  McNutt,  do  you  have  any  statement  you  would 
like  to  make  as  to  whom  you  are  representing  at  this  hearing^ 

Mr.  McNuTT.  Mr.  Stripling,  I  represent  the  Motion  Picture  Asso- 
ciation of  America,  Inc.,  and  the  Association  of  Motion  Picture  Pro- 
ducers, Inc.,  and  their  member  companies.  Mr.  Warner's  company 
is  a  member  of  both  associations. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  will  be  appearing,  then,  with  various  witnesses? 

Mr.  McNuTT.  That  is  true. 

Mr.  Stripling.  From  time  to  time? 

Mr.  McNuTT.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  represent  in  any  way  the  19  witnesses  who 
are  represented  by  Mr.  Kenny  and  Mr.  Crum  ? 

]Mr.  McNuTT.  I  do  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  do  not. 

Just  have  a  seat,  Mr.  McNutt. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McNutt,  the  Chair  would  like  to  inform  you 
that  it  is  the  policy  of  this  committee  to  permit  counsel  to  advise  his 
client,  the  witness  here  on  the  stand,  of  his  constitutional  rights,  and 
only  on  the  question  of  his  constitutional  rights. 

I  would  like  to  say  to  counsel  that  we  hope  you  will  bear  with  us  in 
that  and  tliat  it  will  not  be  necessary  at  any  time  to  remind  you  of  that. 

Mr.  McNutt.  I  understand,  Mr.  Cliairman.  Of  course,  I  should 
like  to  make  a  request  to  be  permitted  to  cross-examine  witnesses. 

The  Chairman.  You  will  not  have  that  permission.  It  is  not  the 
policy  of  the  committee  to  permit  counsel  to  cross-examine  witnesses. 
You  will  only  have  the  right,  the  solemn  right,  to  advise  your  client, 
the  witness,  on  his  constitutional  rights.  Nothing  else.  You  are  no 
different  from  any  of  the  other  attorney's  who  have  appeared  before 
this  committee  this  year  in  the  many  hearings  that  we  have  had. 

Go  ahead,  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address? 

Mr.  Warner.  My  name  is  Jack  L.  Warner,  1801  Angelo  Drive, 
Beverley  Hills,  Calif. 

Mr.  Strlpling.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  London,  Ontario,  Canada,  1892. 


8  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr,  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  you  are  here  before  the  Committee  on 
Un-American  Activities  in  response  to  a  subpena  served  upon  you  on 
September  29,  1947;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Wakner.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Warner.  In  charge  of  production  of  Warner  Bros,  studios  at 
Burbank,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  vice  president  of  Warner  Bros.  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  associated  with  the  motion- 
picture  industry? 

Mr.  Warner.  Approximately  forty-odd  years. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  didn't  get  that  last  statement. 

Mr.  Warner.  Forty-odd  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  ]\Ir.  Warner,  in  what  various  capacities  have  you 
been  associated  with  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  say  writer,  director,  producer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  was  the  corporation  known  as  Warner  Bros. 
first  founded? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  just  can't  remember  the  exact  date. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Approximately  when? 

]Mr.  Warner.  I  believe  it  was  1922 — or  between  1922  and  1926.  Be- 
fore tliat  it  was  a  copartnership  of  the  four  brothers. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  recall  how  many  people  you  employed  at  the 
time  the  corporation  was  first  founded  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  haven't  any  recollection.    No ;  I  don't  know. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  familiar  with  how  many  people  are  em- 
ployed at  the  present  time  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  say  approximately  25,000  throughout  the 
world. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Throughout  the  world. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  About  how  many  pictures  does  your  company  pro- 
duce a  year  ?    That  is,  on  an  average. 

Mr.  Warner.  At  present? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  Twenty-four.  In  addition,  what  we  term  "short  sub- 
jects," and  we  now  have  a  news  release,  the  Warner-Pathe  News 
Release. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  you  say  20 

Mr.  Warner.  Twenty-four  full-length  pictures;  50  or  60  short  sub- 
jects ;  and  100  or  more  news  releases  a  year. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  give  us  the  figure  of — say,  for  any  time 
during  the  past  5  years — the  gross  income  of  Warner  Bros.? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  not  familiar  with  the  gross  income.  That  was 
not  my  end  of  the  business — other  than  reading  the  reports. 

INIr.  Stripling.  Is  Warner  Bros,  one  of  the  major  studios  in  Holly- 
wood ? 

Mr.  Warner.  One  of  the  large  studios.  I  don't  go  along  with  the 
word  "major." 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  it  be  one  of  the  four  largest? 

INIu.  Warner.  I  would  say  it  was  one  of  the  large  studios  in  Holly- 
wood. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  9 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  as  the  chairman  lias  stated,  the  purpose 
of  this  hearing  is  to  determine  tlie  extent  of  Communist  infiltration 
and  influence  in  the  motion-picture  industry. 

Since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood,  has  there  ever  been  a  period 
during  which  you  considered  that  the  Communists  had  infiltrated  into 
the  studios? 

Mr.  Warner.  Before  we  proceed,  if  it  is  proper,  I  would  like  to  read 
a  statement  that  I  have  prepared  into  the  record. 

Mv.  Stripling.  ]Mr.  Warner,  it  is  not  the  policy  of  this  committee 
to  permit  witnesses  to  read  statements.    However 

Mr.  Wood.  I  suggest,  Mr.  Chairman,  that  the  witness  be  permitted 
to  submit  his  statement. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  read  the  statement  in  Los  Angeles. 

The  Chairman.  It  was  the  same  statements 

Mr.  Warner.  I  read  the  statement  in  Los  Angeles. 

The  Chairman.  Is  this  the  same  statement  you  read  in  Los  Angeles  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Similar  to  a  degree,  more  or  less. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  just  see  the  statement,  please? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

(The  paper  was  handed  to  the  chairman.) 

The  Chairman.  It  will  be  all  right  to  read  this  statement.  The  only 
reason  we  questioned  it  was  that  we  wanted  to  make  certain  that  it  was 
pertinent  to  the  inquiry. 

Mr.  AVarner.  Yes,  sir ;  it  is. 

The  Chairman.  And  also  will  you  read  it  into  the  microphone,  Mr. 
Warner. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  And  speak  just  a  little  louder. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

(STATEMENT  OE  JACK  L.  WARNER) 

It  is  a  privilege  to  appear  again  before  this  committee  to  help  as 
much  as  I  can  in  facilitating  its  work. 

I  am  happy  to  speak  openly  and  honestly  in  an  inquiry  which  has 
for  its  purpose  the  reaffirmation  of  American  ideals  and  democratic 
processes.  As  last  May,  when  I  appeared  before  a  subcommittee  of 
this  group  in  Los  Angeles,  my  testimony  is  based  on  personal  opinions, 
impressions,  and  beli/efs  created  by  the  things  I  have  heard,  read,  and 
seen.    It  is  given  freely  and  voluntarily. 

Our  American  way  of  life  is  under  attack  from  without  and  from 
within  our  national  borders.  I  believe  it  is  the  duty  of  each  loyal 
American  to  resist  those  attacks  and  defeat  them. 

Freedom  is  a  precious  thing.  It  requires  careful  nurturing,  protec- 
tion, and  encouragement.  It  has  flourished  under  the  guaranties  of 
our  American  Constitution  and  Bill  of  Rights  to  make  this  country  the 
ideal  of  all  men  who  honestly  wish  to  call  their  souls  their  own. 

I  believe  that  I,  as  an  individual,  and  our  company  as  an  organiza- 
tion of  American  citizens,  must  watch  always  for  threats  to  the  Ameri- 
can way  of  life.  History  teaches  the  lesson  that  liberties  are  won 
bitterly  and  may  be  lost  unwittingly. 

We  have  seen  recent  tragic  examples  of  national  and  personal  free- 
doms destroyed  by  dictator-trained  wrecking  crews.     The  advance 


10  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

guards  of  propagandists  nad  infiltrationists  were  scarcely  noticed  at 
lirst.  They  got  in  their  first  licks  quietly,  came  into  the  open  only 
when  they  were  ready  to  spring  the  trap.  Heedless  peoples  suddenly 
woke  up  to  find  themselves  slaves  to  dictatorships  imposed  by  skillful 
and  willful  groups. 

I  believe  the  first  line  of  defense  against  this  familiar  pattern  is 
an  enlightened  public.  People  aware  of  threats  to  their  freedom  can- 
not be  victimized  by  the  divide-and-conquer  policies  used  by  Hitler 
and  his  counterparts. 

It  is  my  firm  conviction  that  the  free  American  screen  has  taken  its 
rightful  place  with  the  free  American  press  in  the  first  line  of  defense. 

Ideological  termites  have  burrowed  into  many  American  industries, 
organizations,  and  societies.  Wherever  they  may  be,  I  say  let  us  dig 
them  out  and  get  rid  of  them.  My  brothers  and  I  will  be  happy  to 
subscribe  generously  to  a  pest-removal  fund.  We  are  willing  to  estab- 
lish such  a  fund  to  ship  to  Russia  the  people  who  don't  like  our 
American  system  of  government  and  prefer  the  communistic  system 
to  ours. 

That's  how  strongly  we  feel  about  the  subversives  who  want  to 
overthrow  our  free  American  system. 

If  there  are  Communists  in  our  industry,  or  any  other  industry, 
organization,  or  society  who  seek  to  undermine  our  free  institutions, 
let's  find  out  about  it  and  know  who  they  are.  Let  the  record  be 
spread  clear,  for  all  to  read  and  judge.  The  public  is  entitled  to  know 
the  facts.  And  the  motion-picture  industry  is  entitled  to  have  the 
public  know  the  facts. 

Our  comjDany  is  keenly  aware  of  its  responsibilities  to  keep  its  prod- 
uct free  from  subversive  poisons.  With  all  the  vision  at  my  command, 
I  scrutinize  the  planning  and  production  of  our  motion  pictures.  It 
is  my  firm  belief  that  there  is  not  a  Warner  Bros,  picture  that  can 
fairly  be  judged  to  be  hostile  to  our  country,  or  communistic  in  tone  or 
purpose. 

Many  charges,  including  the  fantasy  of  "White  House  pressure"  have 
been  leveled  at  our  wartime  production  Mission  to  Moscow.  In  my 
previous  appearance  before  members  of  this'  committee,  I  explained  the 
origin  and  purposes  of  Mission  to  Moscow. 

That  picture  was  made  when  our  country  was  fighting  for  its  exist- 
ence, with  Russia  as  one  of  our  allies.  It  was  made  to  fulfill  the  same 
wartime  purpose  for  which  we  made  such  other  pictures  as  Air  Force, 
This  Is  the  Arm}',  Objective  Burma,  Destination  Tokyo,  Action  in  the 
North  Atlantic,  and  a  great  many  more. 

If  making  Mission  to  Moscow  in  1912  was  a  subversive  activity,  then 
the  American  Liberty  ships  which  carried  food  and  guns  to  Russian 
allies  and  the  American  naval  vessels  which  convoyed  them  were 
likewise  engaged  in  subversive  activities.  The  picture  was  made  only 
to  help  a  desperate  war  effort  and  not  for  posterity. 

The  Warner  Bros,  interest  in  the  preservation  of  the  American  way 
of  life  is  no  new  thing  with  our  company.  Ever  since  we  began  mak- 
ing motion  pictures  we  have  fostered  American  ideals  and  done  what 
we  could  to  protect  them. 

Not  content  with  merely  warning  against  dangers  to  our  free  sys- 
tem, Warner  Bros,  has  practiced  a  policy  of  positive  Americanism. 
We  have  gone,  and  will  continue  to  go,  to  all  ]:)ossible  lengths  to  iterate 
and  reiterate  the  realities  and  advantages  of  America. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  11 

Good  American  common  sense  is  the  determining  factor  in  judging 
motion-picture  scripts  before  they  are  put  in  production  and  motion- 
picture  scenes  after  they  are  photographed.  We  rely  upon  a  deep- 
rooted,  pervading  respect  for  our  country's  principles. 

One  of  those  American  principles  is  the  right  to  gripe  and  criticize 
in  an  effort  to  improve.  That  right  to  gripe  is  not  enjoyed  under 
communistic  dictatorships.  To  surrender  that  privilege  under  pres- 
sure would  betray  our  American  standards. 

Freedom!  of  expression,  however,  does  not,  under  our  Constitution 
and  laws,  include  a  license  to  destroy. 

We  believe  positive  methods  offer  the  best  defense  against  possible 
subversive  activities.  In  my  previous  testimony  before  a  subcom- 
niittee  of  this  committee,  I  stated  certain  people  whom  we  let  go  were 
subsequently  hired  by  other  studios. 

By  no  stretch  of  the  imagination  can  that  be  construed  as  question- 
ing the  loyalty  of  other  employers.  The  producers  who  hired  the 
men  we  discharged  are  good  Americans.  There  is  no  positive  guide 
to  determine  whether  or  not  a  person  is  a  Communist ;  and  the  laws  of 
our  land,  which  are  in  the  hands  of  you  gentlemen,  offer  no  clean-cut 
definition  on  that  point. 

We  can't  fight  dictatorships  by  borrowing  dictatorial  methods. 
Nor  can  we  defend  freedom  by  curtailing  liberties,  but  we  can  attack 
with  a  free  press  and  a  free  screen. 

Subversive  germs  breed  in  dark  corners.  Let's  get  light  into  those 
corners.  That,  I  believe,  is  the  purpose  of  this  hearing  and  I  am 
happy  to  have  had  the  opportunity  to  testify. 

Thank  you. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  getting  back  to  my  original  ques- 
tion  

Mr.  Warner.  Do  you  want  this  statement  for  the  record? 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  will  be  made  a  part  of  the  record,  Mr.  Chair- 
man ? 

The  Chairman.  So  ordered.^ 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood,  has 
there  ever  been  a  period  during  which  you  considered  that  the  Com- 
munists or  the  Fascists  had  infiltrated  into  the  studios  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  As  I  said  in  Los  Angeles  on  May  16,  I  believe — 15, 
rather — I  have  never  seen  a  Communist,  and  I  wouldn't  know  one  if 
I  saw  one. 

With  reference  to  Fascists.  I  have  seen  them.  Not  in  America.  I 
mean  in  Europe.  Therefore,  I  don't  know  if  Fascists  have  worked 
in  the  studios — or  Communists,  rather — or  both. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  have  here  before  me,  Mr.  Warner,  y.our  testimony, 
wherein  the  following  question  was  asked :  ^ 

Mr.  Stripling,  air.  Warner,  since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood  has  there  ever 
been  a  period  during  which  you  considered  that  the  Communists  had  infiltrated 
into  your  studio? 

Air.  Warner.  Yes.    Do  you  mean  by  huge  numbers,  or  what? 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  any  degree. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes  ;  there  has  been  a  period. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  was  that? 


^  See  appendix,  p.  52.'?,  for  statement  exhibit  l.» 

2  See  appeuflix,   p.   523.   for  testimony  of  Jack  L.   Warner  before  the  Subcommittee  on 
Un-American  Activities,  May  15,  1947,  in  Hollywood,  Calif. 


12  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Wakner.  Chiefly  I  would  say  starting  in  about  193G  or  1937.  That  is  the 
first  time  I  started  to  notice  that  type  of  writing  coming  into  our  scenarios. 
It  is  being  put  into  scripts  to  this  day  in  one  form  or  another. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  your  studio? 

Mr.  Warner.  In  our  studio  and  every  studio  ;  yes.     *     *     * 

Now,  that  is  your  testimony,  Mr.  Warner  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes;  that  wasn't  your  question.  You  asked  nie  if 
there  were  any  Communists  in  the  industry.  If  you  refer  directly  to 
our  studio,  I  would  like  to  answer  along  the  same  lines  I  attempted  to 
answer  in  Los  Angeles. 

The  Chairman.  What  is  your  answer? 

Mr.  Warner.  The  same  as  that. 

The  Chairman.  What  is  that  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  The  answer  is  that  there  are  people  with  un-Ameri- 
.can  leanings  who  have  been  writing — mostly  in  the  writing  division — 
that  have  been  writing  types  of — what  I  personally  term  un-Ameri- 
can principles,  for  the  want  of  a  better  word. 

The  Chairman.  You  admit  that  there  are,  or  were.  Communists, 
or  Communist  sympathizers,  in  your  own  industry  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  don't  know  about  Communist  sympathizers.  I 
know  they  are  un-American  in  their  methods. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  his  studio,  he  means. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  mean  un-American  because  they  are  Com- 
munists or  un-American  because  they  are  Fascists  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  No;  un-American  because  they  endeavor  to  put  sev- 
eral things  into  scripts  that,  in  my  opinion,  are  un-American,  and  it 
is  my  business  to  see  that  it  doesn't  get  in.  If  it  eventually  does  creep 
in,  I  cut  it  out. 

The  CiixViR3iAN.  There  is  little  difference  whether  a  person  is  a  Com- 
munist or  a  Fascist  if  he  is  un-American;  isn't  that  true? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  not  qualified  to  answer. 

The  Chairman.  But  you  admit  there  are  some  people  in  your  studio 
that  are  un-American? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes ;  I  admit  that. 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead,  Mr.  Stripling. 

INIr.  Warner.  I  admit  it  through  the  process  which  I  have  just 
stated,  in  the  method  of  writing  script.  Their  other  activities  I  know 
nothing  about. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  I  understand  it,  Mr.  Warner,  the  testimony  that 
you  gave  in  Los  Angeles  was  to  the  effect  that  you  detected  within 
your  studio  writers  who  were  attempting  to  inject  Communist  prop- 
aganda into  pictures.  Your  testimony  was  to  the  effect  that  they 
were  not  successful  in  that  effort  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  gave  us  the  names  of  a  number  of  writers  whom 
you  dismissed  for  one  reason  or  other  because  you  felt  they  were  at- 
tempting to  inject  communism  or  Communist  propaganda  into  the 
pictures. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  say  un-American  propaganda.  If  you  want  to  use 
the  word  "Communist"  naturally  you  have  that  prerogative. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  give  the  committee  the  names  of  the 
writers  who  were  employed  in  your  studio  whom  you  considered  were 
attempting  to  place  Communist  propaganda  in  motion  pictures? 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  13 

Mr.  Warner.  As  I  said,  again  referring  to  my  statement,  or  testi- 
mony, endeavoring  to  put  in  Communist  propaganda,  as  I  said  in  my 
statement ■ 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  would  you  prefer  that  we  proceed  this 
way,  I  will  read  your  testimony  and  you  can  confirm  it  or  deny  it, 
as  you  see  fit  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  following  question  was  asked  you : 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  the  principal  mediuin,  the  writers,  through  which  the 
Communists  have  sought  to  inject  their  Communist  propaganda  into  fihns? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes;  I  would  say  95  percent. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Ninety-five  percent  is  through  the  writers? 

Mv.  Warner.  This  is  my  own  personal  opinion. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  say  at  the  present  time  to  your  knowledge  there  are  no 
Connnunist  writers  in  your  studio? 

Mr.  Warnb^;.  That  is  correct,  sir.  I  did  not  finish  telling  you  how  we  released 
them  or  got  rid  of  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Go  right  ahead. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  think  it  is  worth  finishing.  Anyone  whom  I  thought  was  a 
Communist,  or  read  in  tlie  papers  that  he  was,  I  dismissed  at  the  expiration  of  his 
contract.  If  it  was  for  an  individual  picture  and  we  had  no  obligations,  we 
could  let  him  go.  In  one  fellow's  case  I  had  to  hold  onto  him  because  we  were 
dropping  them  too  rapidly,  and  it  was  too  apparent.  So  we  held  onto  him.  I 
held  him  until  the  last  2  weeks,  and  I  could  not  stand  him  any  longer.  He  was 
contributing  nothing  by  holding  meetings  in  the  offices. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  was  his  name? 

Mr.  Warner.  Kahn ;  Gordon  Kahn. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Why  did  you  say  it  was  too  apparent? 

Mr.  Warner.  By  letting  them  all  go  at  oitce,  in  one  day.  When  I  say  "all" 
there  were  only  probably  a  half  dozen  at  tops.     There  weren't  so  many. 

Mr.  Stripling.  But  they  were  definitely  entrenched  in  your  studio? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

Now,  down  to  that  point  that  is  the  testimony  you  gave ;  is  it  not  ? 
Mr.  Warner.  Yes ;  it  is. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  w^ant  to  point  out  that  this  is 
sworn  testimony  which  I  am  reading. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  since  gotten  them  out? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes.  If  there  is  anyone  else  in  there  I  don't  know  who  he  is. 
There  may  be  some  in  other  places.     Mr.  Matthews  is  checking  up  very  rigidly. 

The  Mr.  Matthews  referred  to  here  is  Mr.  Blaney  Matthews;  is  that 
right  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  He  occupies  the  position  of  plant 

Mr.  Warner.  Plant  personnel. 
Mr.  Stripling  (continuing)  : 

Mr.  Thomas.  Do  you  want  to  get  the  names  of  the  other  writer.'^? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes;  I  would  like  to  have  those  from  the  record,  either  from 
you  or  Mr.  Matthews. 

Mr.  Warner.  When  I  say  those  people  are  Communists,  as  I  said  b^^fore,  it  is 
from  hearsay.     It  was  from  printed  forms  I  read  in  the  Hollywood  Reporter. 

Mr.  Thomas.  But  you  got  enough  information  to  let  them  go? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  could  tell  in  their  writings  and  method  of  pi'esentation  of 
screen  plays. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  mean  not  calling  them  Communists? 

Mr.  Warner.  They  were  un-American. 

Mr.  Stripling.  For  one  reason  or  another  you  ob.lected  to  the  lines  they  were 
attempting  to  put  in  your  scripts? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

67683 — 47 2 


14  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  you  let  these  six  people  go.     Can  you  name  the  six? 

Mr.  Warneu.  Yes;  I  think  I  can.     I  wish  you  would  bear  with  me. 

I\Ir.  Thomas.  That  is  all  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  have  heard  these  people  stand  around  and  ridicule  and  rib 
the  committee,  your  full  committee:  "They  aren't  looking  for  Fascists;  they  are 
only  looking  for  Communists.  They  have  the  same  routine ;  to  belittle  the  other 
fellow  and  scheme  about  it." 

]Mr.  Thomas.  If  you  have  any  names  we  would  like  to  have  them. 

Mr.  Warner.  Here  are  the  names  of  people  who  in  my  opinion  wrote  for  the 
screen  and  tried  to  inject  these  ideas,  and  I  personally  removed  them — according 
to  my  best  judgment  or  any  of  my  executives  working  with  me.  Whether  or  not 
they  are  Communists  I  don't  know,  but  some  of  them  are,  according  to  what  I 
have  read  and  heard. 

The  first  one  is  Alvah  Bessie.  Then  Gordon  Kahn.  He  is  in  charge  of  editing 
the  little  journal  of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild.  He  is  now  down  in  Mexico 
trying  to  write  a  story  about  a  picture  we  were  producing  down  there.  I  gave 
instructions  all  along  the  line  not  to  have  him  in  there,  but  he  gets  in.  The  day  I 
let  him  go  he  was  right  on  the  plane  for  Mexico.  He  is  writing  a  story  for  Holiday 
magazine,  one  of  the  Curtis  Publisliing  Co.'s  magazines.  I  tried  through  the 
New  York  office  to  tell  them  the  fellow  was  "off  the  beam"  and  should  not  accept 
his  material.  I  was  told,  "You  are  not  going  to  interfere  with  the  right  of  free 
speech  and  freedom  of  the  press."  I  got  tJie  usual  run-down  of  a  publisher.  That 
is  what  they  told  my  man.  I  tried  to  have  the  story  stopped  for  this  particular 
paper,  but  he  is  writing  it.  In  fact,  we  were  chastised  for  interfering  with  their 
business,  so  I  got  off  of  that. 

Guy  Endore,  Howard  Koch,  Ring  Lardner,  Jr.,  Emmett  Lavery,  John  Howard 
Law.son,  Albert  Maltz,  Robert  Rosson,  Erwin  Shaw,  Dalton  Trumbo,  John  Wexley. 
You  know  these  names. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  a  very  familiar  list. 

INIr.  Warner.  Julius  and  Philip  Epstein,  twins. 

Mr.  Thomas.  What  are  they  doing? 

Mr.  Warnek.  They  are  at  IM-G-M.  I  will  give  you  my  theory  of  what  happened 
to  these  fellows  when  I  finish. 

Mr.  Thomas.  All  right. 

Mr.  W^^rner.  Sheridan  Gibney,  Clifford  Odets.     That  is  all  of  my  list. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  all  of  these  writers  that  you  named  employed  in  your 
studio  at  one  time  or  another? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes ;  they  were. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  give  us  the  names  of  some  of  the  pictures  in  which 
they  injected  their  lines  or  propaganda? 

l\Ir.  Warner.  I  would  rather  correct  that,  if  you  don't  mind. 

Mr.  Stripling.  All  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  They  endeavor  to  inject  it.  Whatever  I  could  do  about  it — I 
took  it  out. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Tell  us  some  of  the  pictures  in  which  they  endeavored  to  do  that. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 
Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  As  I  understand  it,  this  was  all  sworn  testimony  in 
executive  session ;  is  that  correct  ? 
Mr,  Stripling.  That  is  right,  sir. 
The  testimony  continued : 

Mr.  Warner.  Do  you  want  the  names? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Identify  the  films. 

Mr.  Warnfjl  Alvah  Bessie,  The  Very  Thought  of  You.  Gordon  Kahn,  Her 
Kind  of  Man.  I  might  inject  there  for  a  moment,  the  majority  of  those  writers, 
some  of  them  wrote  for  as  high  as  6,  8,  or  10  months,  and  never  delivered  anything. 
What  they  were  doing  was  taking  your  money  and  supposedly  writing  your 
scripts  and  trying  to  get  these  doctrines  into  the  films,  working  for  the  party,  or 
whatever  the  term  is.    The  strange  thing  is  very  few  of  these  fellows  deliver. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  right? 

Mr.  Warner.  Not  only  in  our  studios,  but  in  any  of  the  studios.  I  can  speak 
authoritatively  on  that.  These  are  the  credits  that  these  people  have.  They 
are  always  in  every  one  of  them.    Howard  Koch,  In  Our  Time.    I  might  explain 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  15 

how  some  of  these  stories  come  out.  Sometimes  four  or  five  of  these  writers  con- 
tribute. These  fellows  contribute  and  then  three  other  good  writers  are  doing 
the  most  of  it,  but  they  contribute  some  things  and  they  get  the  screen  credit. 
I  should  have  had  more  information  as  to  who  collaborated  with  them.  They 
didn't  do  anything  in  the  western  pictures.  As  far  as  Kocli  is  concerned,  he  was 
on  20  scripts,  but  he  never  got  anywhere  because  he  always  started  out  with  big 
messages  and  I  used  to  take  them  out.  This  fellow  was  on  contract  and  I 
couldn't  let  him  go.  He  is  now  working  for  Samuel  Goldwyn.  I  can't  remember 
the  name  of  the  picture  he  is  working  on. 

Ring  Lardner,  Jr.,  was  on  several  pictures.  He  didn't  put  any  message  in  The 
Kokomo  Kid.  Or  Emmett  Lavery,  he  has  no  credits.  We  throw  his  stuff  in  all 
the  way  and  pile  it  up. 

John  Howard  Lawson,  Action  in  the  North  Atlantic. 

Albert  Maltz  in  Pride  of  the  Marines. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  he  get  much  into  Pride  of  the  Marines? 

Mr.  Warner.  No ;  in  my  opinion  he  didn't  get  in  anything  because  everything 
they  endeavor  to  write  in,  if  the;y  photographed  it,  I  cut  it  out.  I  ran  those 
films  myself.  There  is  one  little  thing. where  the  fellow  on  the  train  said,  "My 
name  is  Jones,  so  I  can't  get  a  .iob."  It  was  this  kid  named  Diamond,  a  Jewish 
boy,  in  the  marines,  a  hero  at  Guadalcanal.  In  fact,  I  had  a  couple  of  boys  run 
the  picture  3  or  4  days  ago  and  I  read  it.  Dr.  John  Leach  said  something  about 
it,  but  there  is  nothing  to  it.     If  there  is,  I  don't  know  where  it  is. 

I  have  had  experiences  from  1916  or  1917.  I  made  My  Four  Years  in  Germany 
and  I  produced  that  in  New  York  right  during  the  First  World  War.  I  can  look  at 
a  mirror  and  see  three  faces.  You  can  see  anything  you  want  to  see  and  you  can 
write  anything  you  want  to,  but  there  is  nothing  in  my  pictures  that  I  cannot 
qualify  being  there,  with  the  exception  that  it  might  have  gotten  by  me,  because 
you  can't  be  superhuman.  Some  of  these  lines  have  innuendos  and  double  mean- 
ings, and  things  like  that,  and  you  have  to  take  8  or  10  Harvard  law  courses  to 
find  out  what  they  mean. 

Mr.  Stripling.  They  are  very  subtle. 

Mr.  Warner.  Exceedingly  so.  Rossen,  I  gave  him  a  credit  for  They  Won't 
Forget  and  Dust  Be  My  Destiny. 

Erwin  Shaw,  The  Hard  Way. 

Dalton  Trumbo  worked  in  our  place  in  1935  and  1936.  He  had  credit  for  The 
Kid  From  Kokomo,  and  so  has  Ring  Lardner,  Jr.  It  gives  you  an  idea  ;  they  work 
in  pairs.  All  he  is  credited  with  is  The  Road  Gang.  I  can't  remember  that.  That 
was  12  years  ago. 

John  Wexley  had  a  picture  called  City  for  Conquest  in  1940.  Some  of  these 
pictures  I  have  called  off  were  produced  during  the  war.  Naturally,  they  were 
pictures  aimed  at  aiding  the  war  effort.  They  were  realistic.  Take  Action  in  the 
North  Atlantic,  which  was  produced  for  the  merchant  marine  because  at  the  time 
they  could  not  get  proper  enlistments  and  all  that.  I  made  this  film.  We  did  not 
pull  any  punches.  It  was  a  good,  hard  film  of  the  real  life  of  the  merchant  marine. 
I  don't  know  whether  you  saw  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warnke.  Naturally,  John  Howard  Lawson  tried  to  swing  a  lot  of  things  in 
there,  but  to  my  knowledge  there  wasn't  anything. 

Mr.  Stripling.  John  Howard  Lawson  did  try  to  put  stuff  in? 

Mr.  WARNEK._Yes  ;  I  would  say  he  did  in  one  form  or  another. 

Mr.  Stripling.  All  right,  are  you  through  with  the  list? 

Mr.  Warnek.  No ;  the  Epstein  brothers  did  very  good  work  at  one  time,  but 
they  fell  off. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  they  do  any  part  of  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  Their  name  is  not  on  here  as  credit  for  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Who  did  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  Howard  Koch,  1943. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  he  do  any  part  of  Edge  of  Darkness? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  just  a  moment,  please.  Robert  Rosson  did  that  in  1942.  That 
was  a  war  subject,  too. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  do  North  Star,  did  you? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  we  did  not. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  do  Song  of  Russia? 

Mr.  Warner.  No ;  we  did  not.  The  Epstein  brothers  worked  on  a  picture  called 
Animal  Kingdom.  As  I  recall,  tnat  was  aimed  at  the  capitalistic  system — not 
exactly,  but  the  rich  man  is  always  the  villain.    Of  course,  those  fellows  getting 


16  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

two  or  three  thousand  dollars  a  week  aren't  rich  men.  I  don't  know  what  you 
would  call  them.  Both  of  those  fellows  work  together.  They  are  never  separated. 
The  rest  of  them  are  a  lot  of  comedies :  Yankee  Doodle  Dandy,  the  Man  Who 
Came  to  Dinner,  Arsenic  and  Old  Lace,  Strawberry  Blonde,  Four  Mothers — all  of 
those  pictures  are  comedies  and  there  is  no  taint  of  communism  in  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  do  you  desire  me  to  proceed  in  this 
manner,  that  is,  reading  the  testimony  in  directly,  or  do  j'oii  wish  me  to 
proceed  in  question-and-answer  form  ? 

The  Chairman.  We  would  like  to  know  from  Mr.  Warner  at  this 
point  whether  he  still  believes  as  he  did  when  he  testified  in  California 
on  May  15, 1  think  it  was,  the  testimony  of  which  was  just  read  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  I  do,  with  one  exception,  and  that  is  referring  to 
the  Curtis  Publishing  Co.  I  didn't  elaborate  too  much  as  I  have 
formed  sort  of  a  habit  of  being  very  curt  in  my  speech,  having  to  talk 
all  day  in  my  particular  business,  so  I  didn't  go  into  too  much  detail 
about  that. 

I  meant  this :  That  the  Curtis  Publishing  Co.  by  refusing — at  least  to 
iinybody  from  our  company — to  publish  this  Gordon  Kahn's  article, 
good  or  bad,  whatever  it  was,  I  don't  know,  proves  decisively  that  the 
American  way  of  life,  free  speech  and  free  press,  is  very,  very  important 
to  retain  and  to  never  let  it  go.  If  anyone  could  influence  Curtis  Pub- 
lishing Co.  they  could  influence  anybodv.  Tlierefore,  I  believe — I  pay 
my  deep  respects  to  the  Curtis  Publishing  Co.  for  their  American  stand 
on  free  press  and  free  speech. 

Tlie  Chairman.  On  all  those  other  names  you  would  make  the  same 
statement  in  relation  to  them  today  as  you  did  on  May  15  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  with  the  exception  that  I  have  looked  up  one 
or  two  of  the  men ;  it  has  been  so  far  back.  I  was  naturally  carried 
away  at  the  time  with  this  testimony  being  taken.  I  was  rather  emo- 
tional, being  111  a  very  emotional  business,  to  a  degree.  There  are  sev- 
eral names  here,  one  or  two  that  I  mentioned  that  I  haven't  any  recol- 
lection of  at  this  time,  after  careful  investigation,  having  written  any 
subversive  elements. 

The  Chairman.  You  better  name  them. 

Mr.  Warner.  Gu>  Endore — it  has  been  so  long  ago. 

The  Chairman.  Then  you  would  take  him  off  the  list? 

The  Witness.  Yes,  sir.  Sheridan  Gibney.  As  I  stated,  I  hope 
fully  here,  I  have  referred  to  Julius  and  Philip  Epstein  in  this  one 
particular  picture.  The  rest  of  the  time  they  were  always  on  very 
good  American  films  and  there  is  very  little  can  be  said  about  them. 
As  I  said,  they  do  it  in  a  joking  way.  The  rich  man  is  alwaysj  the 
villain,  which  is  as  old  as  the  world  itself.  Ever  since  one  man  had 
$1  and  the  other  fellow  had  another  dollar  there  has  always  been 
that  envy  between  man  and  man. 

Outside  of  that,  I  would  say  these  people  whom  I  have  mentioned 
have  not  written  Communist  cloctrines,  or  endeavored  to  put  in  Com- 
munist stories. 

As  I  explained  at  our  meeting  in  Los  Angeles,  my  understanding 
of  the  Communists  or  their  doctrines  is  that  they  are  a  nation  or  a 
country  or  a  party  or  a  sect,  who  endeavor  to  overthrow  a  country 
or  a  government  by  violence  and  force.  That  I  have  never  seen  in 
an  American  motion  picture,  not  only  ours,  but  anybody  else's. 

The  Chairman.  They  would  not  be  that  foolish,  would  they? 


I 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  17 

Mr.  Warner,  I  can't  answer  for  them.  I  only  speak  from  my  own 
actual  experiences  and  my  relations  with  every  man.  I  find  there 
has  been  very  little  of  it — remove  that,  if  you  please.  I  find  these 
people  have  not  attacked  the  Government  with  violence  and  over- 
throwing. 

The  Chairman.  Don't  you  think  it  would  be  very  foolish  for  a 
Communist  or  a  Communist  sympathizer  to  attempt  to  write  a  script 
advocating  the  OA^erthrow  of  the  Government  by  force  or  violence? 

Mr.  Warner.  Do  you  wish  me  to  answer  that  as  a  motion-picture 
executive  or  as  an  American  citizen  ? 

The  Chairman.  Either  one,  it  makes  no  difference,  you  are  both. 

Mr.  Warner.  It  would  not  only  be  foolish,  it  would  be  something 
they  could  not  get  away  with  in  the  American  motion-picture  industry 
in  California,  or  anywhere  else. 

The  Chairman.  Exactly.  So  what  would  they  do?  They  would 
put  in  slanted  lines  wherever  they  could  and  that  is  what  you  have 
been  trying  to  keep  out? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  is  correct. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  why  you  have  been  doing  exactly  the  same 
thing  in  your  business  that  we  have  been  attempting  to  do  in  ours  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  is  correct. 

The  Chairman.  You  have  detected  these  slanted  lines,  lines  that 
Communists  or  un-Americans,  as  you  call  them,  would  try  to  put  in? 

Mr,  Warner,  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  And  because  of  that  you  have  discharged  a  number 
of  employees;  isn't  that  true? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  wouldn't  use  the  word  "discharged."  I  have  had 
them  fulfill  their  legal  obligations  and  then  didn't  renew  their  options, 
or  whatever  you  would  call  it. 

The  Chairman.  But  you  did  not  rehire  them  ? 

]\Ir.  Warner.  I  did  not  rehire  them ;  that  is  correct. 

The  Chairman.  Does  any  other  member  of  the  committee  have  any 
questions  to  ask  of  Mr.  Warner  at  this  point  ? 

Mr.  Vail.  Yes,  sir,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  Warner,  I  gathered  from  Mr.  McNutt's  opening 
statement  that  there  is  an  Association  of  Motion  Picture  Producers 
in  California.     Is  your  own  firm  a  member  of  that  association? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir;  the  Motion  Picture  Producers  Association 
is  the  name  of  it. 

Mr.  Vail.  Are  you  an  officer  of  the  association  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  not ;  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Vail.  In  your  testimony,  you  stated  certain  of  your  employees 
were  discharged  on  suspicion,  apparently,  of  being  Communists  and 
they  were  promptly  hired  by  your  competitors.  Did  I  understand 
you  correctly? 

iSIr.  Warner.  Some  of  them  were;  yes,  sir;  that  is  correct. 

Mr.  Vail.  What  is  the  purpose  of  the  association? 

Mr.  Warner.  The  purpose  of  the  association  has  nothing  wha|:ever 
to  do  with  the  hiring  or  firing  or  making  of  any  terms  of  business 
contracts.  The  business  is  the  motion-picture  industry  and  the  pro- 
duction field  is  very  highly  competitive.  The  association  has  nothing 
whasoever  to  do  with  whom  we  eniraee. 


18  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

I  would  call  it  the  sort  of  an  organization  where  we  handle  mutual 
affairs  as  to  business  in  general,  civic  matters,  and  things  of  that  na- 
ture that  happen  in  Los  Angeles  and  in  the  industry  in  general. 

Mr.  Vail.  Does  the  association  comprise  all  the  important  pro- 
ducers ? 

Mr.  Warner.  It  comprises  all  types  of  producers. 

Mr.  Vail.  Is  it  all-inclusive?     Does  it  include  all  the  producers? 

Mr.  Warner.  No;  it  does  not.  There  is  another  association  that 
is  headed  by  Donald  Nelson,  the  Society  of  Independent  American 
Motion  Picture  Producers;  I  think  that  is  the  title,  which  has  many 
more  members. 

Mr.  Vail.  Wouldn't  such  an  association  provide  a  splendid  piece  of 
machinery  for  distribution  of  information  between  producers  as  to 
the  type  of  individuals  that  are  employed  by  the  industry  and  who  are 
concerned  with  subversive  activities? 

Mr.  Warner.  Of  course,  that  has  never  been  brought  up  in  the 
association  in  any  manner,  shape,  or  form,  by  word  or  written  form, 
to  my  knowledge.  I  am  rather  active  in  the  association.  Of  course, 
I  don't  believe  it  would  be  legal  in  my  opinion — speaking  only  per- 
sonally— to  have  the  association  or  any  men  band  together  to  obstruct 
the  employment  of  any  other  man. 

I  don't  believe  the  association  would  have  anything  whatsoever  to 
do  with  that  type  of  operation.  I  would  not  be  a  party  to  it  and 
neither  would  any  of  the  other  men,  from  my  knowledge  of  them. 

Mr.  Vail.  Since  we  recognize  the  fact  that  motion  pictures  repre- 
sent a  forceful  vehicle  for  the  distribution  of  subversive  information 
it  would  seem  to  me  that  would  be  a  very  important  bit  of  business  for 
your  association.  In  other  words,  the  association  has  a  very  grave 
responsibility,  it  seems  to  me :  To  disseminate  knowledge  and  infor- 
mation to  the  American  people  that  will  not  distort  the  viewpoint 
of  the  people  who  see  your  pictures.     So  wouldn't  that  follow? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  sounds  rather  logical,  but  it  doesn't  hold  water. 
It  doesn't  happen,  and  I  can't  see- how  it  ever  will  happen  unless  there 
are  the  proper  laws  created  by  you  gentlemen  in  order  to  make  a  thing 
like  that  legal,  possible,  active,  and  effectual.  I  wouldn't  be  a  party 
with  anyone  in  an  association,  especially  where  you  would  be  liable 
for  having  a  fellow's  livelihood  impaired:  I  wouldn't  want  to  do 
that. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  Warner,  would  you  be  deeply  concerned  with  the 
assurance  of  a  livelihood  to  the  individual  who  is  endeavoring  to 
destroy  this  form  of  government  by  force  of  arms,  or  violence? 

Mr.  Warner.  Would  I  personally? 

Mr.  Vail.  Or  your  association. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  couldn't  hear  you  ^ery  well.  Would  you  repeat 
that? 

Mr.  Vail.  Would  you  be  deeply  interested  in  providing  a  livelihood 
for  the  individual  who  was  attempting  by  subversive  methods  to  de- 
stroy this  form  of  government? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  cannot,  at  any  time,  during  this  hearing,  speak  for 
anyone  but  myself  in  my  business  capacity  and  as  an  American  citi- 
zen. Therefore,  as  for  myself,  definitely  I  am  against  any  type  of 
man  creating,  not  only  in  motion  pictures,  but  in  any  other  enter- 
prise, anything  that  would  endeavor  in  any  form,  shape,  or  manner 
to  overthrow  the  democracv  of  the  United  States  of  America. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  19 

I  am  absolutely  against  them  and  I  would  not  engage  them  per- 
sonally. I  have  said  that  before,  and  I  will  always  say  that.  There 
is  no  place  for  them  in  the  American  way  of  life ;  I  don't  care  whether 
it  is  motion  pictures,  in  Grand  Rapids  where  they  make  furniture, 
or  in  Detroit  where  they  make  motorcars.  I  am  very  emphatic  about 
that. 

I  feel  very  proud  to  be  an  American.  I  spent  three-odd  months  in 
Europe,  and  I  saw  the  consequences  of  people  who  killed  laws,  who 
destroyed  freedom  of  enterprise,  individual  enterprise,  private  enter- 
prise. I  saw  it  in  Europe,  I  saw  it  during  the  war,  I  saw  it  in  Italy, 
France ;  and  to  a  degree  in  England. 

The  CiTAiKMAN.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Vail.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have. 

The  Chairmajc.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Just  one  question,  Mr.  Warner. 

You  indicate  Congress  hasn't  said  what  a  Communist  is.  You  know, 
of  course,  this  committee  has  before  it  a  resolution  outlawing  Com- 
munists and  also  another  resolution  defining  Communists.  Would 
you  advocate  that  the  Congress  adopt  either  of  these  resolutions  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  This  is  the  first  I  knew  that  there  was  a  resolution. 
I  never  heard  of  it.  It  was  probably  while  I  was  away.  I  would 
advocate  it  providing  it  did  not  take  away  the  rights  of  a  free  citizen, 
a  good  American  to  make  a  livelihood,  and  also  that  it  would  not 
interfere  with  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  as  well  as  the 
Bill  of  Rights. 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  know,  during  Hitler's  regime  they  passed  a 
law  in  Germany  outlawing  communism  and  the  Communists  went  to 
jail.     Would  you  advocate  the  same  thing  here  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  not  an  authority  on  Hitler's  maneuvers  and, 
what  is  more,  I  don't  believe  I  want  to  be — I  am  positive  I  don't  want 
to  be,  having  seen  the  destruction  of  those  people.  It  is  a  very  sad 
thing.  Everyone  in  this  room  and  everyone  in  the  world  knows  the 
consequences  of  that  type  of  law. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Canada  has  a  similar  law;  also  Panama,  and  many 
South  American  countries.     Thank  you  very  much. 

The  Chairman.  On  that  question,  following  up  Mr.  McDowell,  in 
view  of  the  facts  that  this  bill  is  before  us  to  outlaw  the  Communist 
Party  and  that  laws  have  been  passed  outlawing  the  Communist  Party 
in  other  nations  in  this  hemisphere,  would  you  advocate  that  we  outlaw 
the  Communist  Party? 

Mr.  Warner.  By  the  proper  legal  procedures. 

The  Chairman.  If  we  passed  a  law  that  would  be  a  proper  legal 
procedure,  wouldn't  it? 

Mr.  Warner.  I,  as  an  individual  citizen,  naturally  am  in  favor  of 
anything  that  is  good  for  all  Americans. 

The  Chairman.  Are  you  in  favor  of  outlawing  the  Communist 
Party? 

Mr.  Warner.  You  mean  from  the  ballot? 

The  Chairman.  Yes ;  making  it  an  illegal  organization. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  in  favor  of  making  it  an  illegal  organization. 

The  Chairman.  You  are? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 


20  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Nixon,  Mr.  Warner,  you  stated  we  can't  fight  dictatorships  by 
borrowing  dictatorial  methods.  As  I  understand  your  observation 
there,  it  is  that  if  we  adopt  the  same  methods  the  dictatorships  adopted 
in  Germany  and  Italy,  and  which  the  Communist  dictatorships  in 
Russia  and  other  Communist-dominated  countries  are  adopting,  if  we 
adopt  those  methods  in  fighting  communism  in  the  United  States  we 
will  be  no  better  than  they  are  from  the  standpoint  of  so-called  free- 
dom of  expression,  which  you  advocated  very  strongly  in  your  state- 
ment ? 

Mr.  Warner.  By  that  I  mean  we  learn  the  folly  of  the  type  of  laws 
they  adopted.  I  am  not  qualified  to  say  just  what  laws  we  should 
have,  but  we  certainly  do  not  want  to  go  along  in  their  pattern. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  think  it  is  essential  we  maintain  in  America  a 
free  press,  free  speech,  and  a  free  screen  as  the  best  safeguards  against 
dictatorship  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Definitely;  because  if  we  do  not — and  I  speak  for 
myself  as  an  American,  we  will  have  a  repetition  of  what  they  had 
in  the  destroyed  countries  abroad.  They  had  laws  which  completely 
closed  everything. 

Mr.  Nixon.   Such  as  Germany  and  Italy? 

Mr.  Warner.  Germany  and  Italy  and  when  the  Germans  overran 
these  other  countries  everything  was  closed.  There  was  not  a  radio 
that  wasn't  planted;  the  words  were  put  into  the  narrator's  mouth. 
There  wasn't  any  free  press;  there  were  not  any  movies  shown,  only 
as  to  the  destruction  of  man  by  the  Nazis.  I  saw  pictures  made  before 
the  war  that  forecast  everything  that  happened  during  the  war. 
That  is,  I  saw  these  pictures  in  Europe. 

Mr.  NixoN.  Have  you  had  occasion  during  the  past  few  years  to 
see  any  Russian  motion  pictures? 

Mr.  Warner.  The  only  Russian  picture  I  ever  saw  was  an  old 
silent  film  about  a  battleship — Potempkin — or  some  name  like  tliat. 
They  put  words  into  the  actors'  mouths ;  they  made  it  a  talking  film. 
That  is  the  only  one  I  ever  saw. 

Mr.  NixoN,  From  your  knowledge  and  experience,  would  you  say 
they  have  what  you  would  term  a  free  screen  in  Russia  today;  that  is, 
they  can  make  any  kind  of  a  picture  they  would  like  to? 

Mr.  Warner.  Only  from  what  I  have  read  in  the  free  press  in 
America  do  I  know  what  is  going  on  in  Russia. 

Mr.  Nixon.  What  have  you  read  in  the  free  press  in  America? 

Mr.  Warner.  My  own  individual  conclusion  is  that  everything  is 
censored,  and  you  cannot  do  anything  you  want  to  do. 

Mr.  NixoN.  In  other  words,  from  what  you  have  read  in  the  press, 
which  is  free  in  America,  the  situation  in  Communist  Russia  today 
is  the  same  as  it  was  in  Nazi  Germany,  insofar  as  a  free  screen  or 
free  press  or  free  speech  is  concerned  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  No;  I  cannot  say  that  I  know  that.  I  don't  know  it. 
Not  having  been  there  I  really  don't  know  just  how  they  control  it. 
I  do  know  what  Hitler  and  jNIussolini  did,  but  I  don't  know  what  the 
Russian  Government  is  doing  today. 

Mr.  NixoN.  You  think  it  is  possible  that  in  Russia  today  they  do 
have  a  free  screen  and  free  press?  You  follow  the  statements  that  are 
made  in  the  American  press  to  the  contrary;  do  you  not? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  question  that  they  have  anything  free  there,  from 
what  I  have  read  of  it  in  American  newspapers. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  21 

Mr.  Nixon.  Then  so  far  as  you  are  concerned,  with  your  vital  in- 
terest in  the  free  press  and  the  free  screen,  and  in  maintaining  that  in 
America,  you  believe  it  would  be  essential  that  we  not  have  in  the 
United  States  a  form  of  government,  totalitarian  form  of  govern- 
ment, be  it  Nazi,  Fascist,  or  Communist,  which  would  when  it  came 
into  power  immediately  deny  a  free  press,  free  speech,  and  a  free 
screen  ? 

Mr.  Warner,  I  definitely  am  adverse  to  it  with  all  my  strength 
and  will  oppose  it  with  all  my  strength  because  it  is  my  recollection 
that  the  first  thing  Hitler  did  was  to  remove  the  press.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  credit  is  given  to  Goering  for  taking  over  the  important  Berlin 
newspapers.  Hitler  had  always  had  one ;  Goebbels  had  his  in  Munich 
or  one  of  the  German  cities. 

The  next  thing  they  did  was  to  remove  the  motion  pictures.  No  one 
could  make  pictures  except  the  Nazis  or  under  their  direction. 

Mr.  Nixon.  That  is  one  of  the  reasons  Warner  Bros,  before  the  war, 
and  even  during  the  early  years  of  the  war,  made  so  many  effective 
pictures  describing  what  was  happening  in  Fascist  Germany  and  to  a 
less  extent  in  totalitarian  Italy? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  sir ;  exactly. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Because  you  were  interested  in  maintaining  a  free  sys- 
tem here  and  you  did  not  want  to  see  that  thing  come  over  here? 

Mr.  Warner.  Definitely,  and  in  addition  to  that,  we  produced  a  film 
called  Confessions  of  a  Nazi  Spy  where  we  endeavored  on  a  free 
screen  by  freemen  to  awaken  the  democracies  of  America  and  Eng- 
land and  others  to  this  terrible  menace  that  faced  them.  I  may  go  to 
Europe  once  or  twice  a  year  and  I  hear  things  in  general  that  I  heard 
way  back  in  1936  and  1937.  That  was  my  last  trip  to  Germany — in 
1937.    That  is  the  reason  for  making  the  film. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  made  those  films  because  you  wanted  to  protect 
free  speech  and  the  free  press  in  America  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Definitely — not  only  in  America,  but  in  other  civilized 
portions  of  the  world  where  men  can  be  freemen. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Consequently,  then,  you  would  feel  it  was  a  patriotic 
duty  which  you  as  a  motion-picture  producer  have,  to  oppose  as  well 
as  you  possibly  can  at  any  time  the  infiltration  into  your  industry  of 
writers  or  others  who  in  some  way  or  other  would  attempt  to  put  into 
those  pictures  certain  lines  of  propaganda  which  have  as  their  aim  and 
their  purpose  the  setting  up  in  the  United  States  of  a  totalitarian 
system  of  government,  be  it  Fascist,  or  Communist;  which  would  de- 
stroy the  rights  that  you  have  now  to  make  any  kind  of  a  picture  you 
want  to  nu.ike? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  for  everything  that  you  have  said. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  agree  with  that  statement? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  agree  wholeheartedly. 

Mv.  Nixox.  The  statement  was  a  little  long. 

Mr.  Warner.  It  was  a  very  good  statement;  it  was  the  statement  of 
a  real  American,  and  I  am  proud  of  it. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Now,  I  note  that  you  made  24  pictures  a  year,  including 
60  or  CO  short  subjects.  I  also  notice,  as  probably  most  of  us  did  who 
go  to  the  movies — and  I  saw  Confessions  of  a  Nazi  Spy  which,  inci- 
dentally was  a  very  fine  job — that  you  have  made  a  considerable  num- 
ber of  pictures  in  which  you  have  pointed  out  the  methods  of  totali- 
tarian dictatorships — the  way  they  deny  free  speech  and  free  press, 


22  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

SO  that  Americans  would  be  able  to  watch  for  that  sort  of  thing  in  our 
own  country  and  be  able  to  resist  it. 

Mr.  Warner.  Pardon  me.  May  I  offer  a  list  of  43  films — 43  of  maybe 
100  or  more  dating  back  to  '1917,  when  I  produced  My  Four  Years  in 
Germany,  under  the  former  Annbassador  to  Germany  at  that  time, 
James  W.  Gerard. 

If  you  go  right  on  down  through  this  list  you  will  find  a  real  effort 
to  do  exactly  as  you  stated  a  few  minutes  ago  in  your  rather  lengthy 
speech — which  was  good.  I  want  to  repeat  that.  I  don't  think  we 
should  be  too  tense  on  this.  Being  too  tense,  I  think  you  end  up 
without  any  tense. 

Here  is  a  photostatic  copy  of  a  review  in  a  Motion-Picture  News 
magazine,  March  23,  1918,  virtually  30  years  ago.  It  is  in  10  reels. 
If  you  want  to  see  it  it  is  a  silent  film  and  runs  for  about  an  hour  and 
a  half.  It  told  the  story  of  what  led  up  to  World  War  I  and  between 
World  War  I  and  World  War  II.  This  is  my  opinion  of  what  it  did. 
The  pictures  speak  for  themselves.     May  I  offer  that  in  evidence? 

Mr.  Nixon.  I  would  like  to  have  these  pictures  made  a  part  of  the 
record  at  this  point. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered.^ 

(The  documents  referred  to  are  as  follows :) 

March  21,  1918 My  Four  Years  in  Germany.     By  James  W.  Gerard. 

December  15,  1918 Kaiser's  Finish. 

1919 lieware.     By  James  W.  Gerard. 

December  11.  1923___  George  Washington,  Jr.     By  George  M.  Cohan. 

March  12,  1927 The  Better  Ole.     By  Bruce  Bairnsfather  and  Arthur  Eliot. 

August  10,  1930 The  Dawn  Patrol.     By  John  Monk  Saunders  and  Howard 

Hawks. 

June  20,  1931 Men  of  the  Sky.     By  Jerome  Kern  and  Otto  Harbach. 

September  12,  1931__.  iVlexander    Hamilton.     By    George    Arliss    and    IVIary    P. 

Hamlin. 

October  3,  1931 I'enrod  and  Sam.     By  Booth  Tarkington. 

February  27,  1937 Penrod  and  Sam   (remake).     By  Booth  Tarkington. 

July  21,  1934 Here  Comes  the  Navy    (reissue  June  7,  1941).     By  Ban 

Markson. 

October  12,  1935 Shipmates  Forever.     By  Delmer  Daves. 

October  11,  1941 International  Squadron.     By  Frank  Wead. 

August  22,  1936 China  Clipper.     By  Frank  Wead. 

January  30,  1937 Black  Legion.     By  Robert  Lord. 

Februiiry  20,  1937___  Green  Light.     By  Lloyd  Douglas. 

November  27,  1937 Submarine  D-1.     By  Frank  Wead. 

February  11,  1939 Wings  of  the  Navy.     By  Michael  Fessier. 

May  6,  1939 Confessions  of  a  Nazi  Spy.     By  Milton  Krims  (from  arti- 
cles by  Leon  G.  Turron). 
January  27,  1940 The  Fighting  69th.     By  NormaA  Reilly  Raine,  Fred  Niblo, 

Jr.,  and  Dean  Franklin. 

October  5,  1940 Knnte  Rockne — All  American.     By  Robert  Buckner. 

August  30,  1941 Dive  Bomber.     By  Fraid<  Wead. 

November  1,  1!)41 One  Foot  in  Heaven.     By  IIartz?ll  Spence. 

February  21,  1942 Captains  of  the  Clouds.     By  Rohnid  Gillett  and  Arthur 

T.  Horman. 

July  4,  1942 Sergeant  York.     By  Alvin  C.  York. 

July  IS,  1942 Wings  for  the  Eagle.     By  Byron  Morgan  and  Ben  Harrison 

Orkow. 

September  5,  1942 Across  the  Pacific.     By  Robert  Carson. 

January  2,  1943 Yankee  Doodle  Dandy.     By  Robert  Buckner. 

January  23,  1943 Casablanca.     By  Murray  IJurnett  and  Jean  Alison. 

March  20,  1943 Air  Force.     By  Dudley  Nichols. 

June  12,  1943 Action  in  the  North  Atlantic.     By  Guy  Gilpatric. 


^  See  appendix,  p.  523,  for  exhibits  3  and  4. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  23 

August  14,  1943 This  Is  the  Army.     By  Irving  Berlin. 

September  4,  1943 Watch  on  the  Rhine.     By  Lillian  Hellnian. 

October  23,  1943 Princess  O'Rourke.     By  Norman  Krasna. 

January  1,  1944 Destination  Tokyo.     By  Steve  Fisher. 

May  6,  1944 The  Adventures  of  Mark  Twain.     By  Alan  LeMay  and 

Harold  M.  Sherman. 
December  30,  1944__.  Hollywood  Canteen.     By  Delmer  Daves. 

February  17,  1945 <  >l)jective  Burma.     By  Alvah  Bessie. 

April  7,  1945 God  Is  My  Co-Pilot.     By  Col.  Robert  Lee  Scott,  Jr. 

September  1,  1945 Pride  of  the  Marines.    By  Roser  Butterfield. 

March  30,  194(5 Saratoga  Trunk.     By  Edna  Ferber. 

August  17,  1946 Two  Guys  From  Milwaukee.    By  Charles  Hoffman  and 

I.  A.  L.  Diamone. 

[Motion  Picture  News,  March  23,  1918] 

My  Four  Years  in  Germany 

(My  Four  Years  in  Germany,  Inc. — 10  reels) 

Reviewed  by  Peter  Milne 

Ambassador  James  W.  Gerard's  widely  read  book,  My  Four  Years  in  Germany, 
relating  his  experiences  as  representative  of  the  United  States  Government  in  the 
center  of  Prussianism,  makes  a  stirring  patriotic  propaganda  as  rendered  into 
film  form  by  Charles  A.  Logue,  who  prepared  a  scenario,  and  by  William  Nigh, 
who  directed. 

Last  Sunday  night  at  the  Knickerbocker  Theater  when  the  film  received  its 
premiere  presentation,  there  was  hardly  a  minutfi  when  the  house  did  not  ring 
with  applause  that  turned  into  cheers. 

All  the  wily  diplomacy  with  which  the  heads  of  the  German  Nation  sought  to 
deceive  the  United  States  through  its  representative,  all  the  atrocities  witnessed 
by  Mr.  Gerard,  such  as  the  mistreatment  of  the  English  prisoners,  the  deportation 
of  helpless  Belgian  women,  perpetrated  without  regard  for  any  sense  of  inter- 
national law- — -these  and  a  large  assortment  of  views  of  Allied  troops  on  the 
march  make  capital  seeing  for  tlie  man  who  goes  into  the  theater  ready  to  have 
his  emotions  stirred  against  the  common  enemy. 

While  there  is  no  personal  story  interwoven  with  the  facts,  these  in  themselves 
are  fully  dramatic  enough  to  make  the  10  reels  pass  tirelessly.  There  is  no  stone 
left  unturned  to  arouse  the  audience  to  a  sense  that  the  German  manner  of 
conducting  war  is  synonymous  with  barbarism. 

One  witnesses  the  heartrending  sight  of  helpless  prisoners  shot  down  before 
German  tiring  squads  because  "there  will  be  less  mouths  to  feed,"  of  English  and 
Russian  soldiers  placed  in  the  same  pens  together  so  that  the  former  contract 
diseases  common  among  the  latter,  and  feeding  of  the  prisoners  as  dogs. 

All  of  which  Mr.  Gerard  was  an  eyewitness — and  more — is  utilized  to  spread 
the  propaganda. 

The  sense  of  humor  of  the  director  is  oftimes  obvious.  It  was,  indeed,  a  praise- 
worthy sense  when  it  came  to  the  production.  One  long  line  of  actual  horrors 
and  of  German  intrigue  would  be  rather  fatiguing  without  some  relief.  This  is 
introduced  in  the  way  of  an  element  of  burlesque  (m  the  German  Emperor,  the 
Crown  Prince,  and  the  other  war  lords  of  Germany.  These  touches  registered 
every  time  during  the  initial  showing;  and  they  are  the  kind  that  will  be  appre- 
ciated by  any  audience. 

The  scenes  of  real  troops  with  which  the  fihn  is  crowded  are  well  woven  into 
the  matter  picturized  from  Mr.  Gerard's  book,  and  usually  to  more  rousing  effect 
than  if  tliey  liad  merely  been  shown  by  themselves.  When  the  Kaiser  laughs  at  his 
enemies  it  makes  one  feel  pretty  fine  when  these  same  enemies  are  shown  pre- 
p;a-ing  for  battle  with  a  vengeance. 

Halbert  Brown,  a  man  who  might  be  mistak"/i  for  Mr.  Gerard  by  his  best  friend, 
impersonates  him  in  the  picture.  He  mnkes  an  impressive  and  dignified  figure 
of  tiie  American  diplomat.  Mr.  Gerard  himself  cannot  complain — at  least  he 
didn't  in  his  speech  last  Sunday  night.  Louis  Dean  presented  a  good  make-up  as 
tiie  Kaiser  and  had  he  been  imbued  with  some  sense  of  the  autocratic  majesty 
of  the  part,  his  characterization  might  have  been  perfect. 

Fred  Hern  and  I'ercy  Standing,  respectively,  playing  Minister  Von  Jagow  and 
Secretary  Zimmerman  succeeded  in  l)ringiiig  out  the  cunning  German  diplomacy 
in  realistic  .style.     Earl  Schenck  as  the  Crown  Prince,  George  Riddell  as  von 


24  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Hindenbiirg,  Frank  Stone  as  Prince  Henry,  Karl  Dane  as  Betlimann-Hollweg,  and 
Arthur  C.  Duvel  as  von  Falkenhayn  generally  have  convincing  make-ups  and 
play  to  good  effect. 

IMr.  Nigh  himself  plays  the  part  of  a  German  social  democrat  whose  excellent 
convictions  are  finally  overwhelmed  by  inborn  patriotism.  His  tragic  story, 
terminating  with  his  final  stand  tor  helpless  prisoners,  adds  a  valuable  ijersonal 
touch  to  the  picture,  though  it  is  not  \<.ny  prominent.  A.  B.  Conkwright,  as  his 
companion  in  the  Reichstag,  in  whom  blood  lust  predominates  after  the  outbreak 
of  the  war,  also  contributes  a  valuable  characterization. 

My  Four  Years  in  Gt^rmany  exposes  the  inner  workings  of  the  German  jwlitical 
and  military  machine  and  lets  its  audience  know  why  America  is  at  war  as 
clearly  as  did  Mr.  Gerard's  book. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  have  39  subjects  here,  all  pro- American  short  sub- 
jects. 

Mr.  Nixon.  How  many  of  those  are  there,  Mr.  Warner? 

Mr.  Warner.  Thirty-nine.  This  is  a  list  of  those  really  to  the  point. 
It  starts  out  with  Song  of  a  Nation,  and  runs  right  on  down  to  one 
called  It  Happened  in  Springfield. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  placed  in  the  record.^ 

(The  document  referred  to  is  as  follows:) 

Pro-Amekican  Short  Subjects 

Release  date  Title 

July  4,  1936 Song  of  a  Nation  (patriotic  series). 

Producer:  Gordon  Hollingshead. 

Director:  Frank  McDonald. 

Writers :  Screen  play  by  Fori-est  Barnes. 

Stars:  Donald  Woods,  (Jlaire  Dodd,  Joseph  Crehan. 
February  20,  1937 Under  Southern  Stars  (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon  Hollingshead. 

Director:  Nick  Grinde. 

Writers :  Story  and  screen  play  by  Forrest  Barnes. 

Stars :  Fred  Lawrence,  Jane  Bryan,  Wayne  Morris. 
December  19,  1936 Give  Me  Liberty  (patriotic  series). 

Producer:  Gordon  Hollingshead. 

Director:  B.  Reeves  Eaton. 

Writers :  Story  and  screen  play  by  Forrest  Barnes. 

Stars:  John   Litel,   Nedda  Harrigan. 
November  27,  1937__.  Man  Without  a  Country,  the    (patriotic  series). 

Produ -er  :  Gordon  Hollingshead. 

Director:  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writers:  Screen   play   by   Forrest   Barnes;    adapted 
from   story  by   Edward   Everett   Hale. 

Stars:  John  Litel,  Gloria  Holden,  Theodore  Osborne 
February  24,  1939_—  Romance  of  Louisiana  (patriotic  series). 

Pi-oducer :  Gorden  Hollingshead. 

Written  and  directed  by  Crane  Wilbur. 

Stars:  Addison  Richards.  Crane  Wilbur,  Orville  Al- 
derman. 
August  19,  1939 Bill  of  Rights  (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon    Hollingshead. 

Director:  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writers :  Original  screen  play  by  Charles  Tedford. 

Stars:  Ted  Osborne,  Maroni  Olson. 
May  27,  1939 Sons  of  Liberty  (patriotic  series). 

Prcducer:  Gordon  Hollingshead. 

Director :  Michael  Curtiz. 

Writers  :  Original  screen  play  by  Crane  Wilbur. 

Stars:  Claude  Rains,  Gale  Sondergaard,  Donald 
Crisp. 


■*  See  appendix,  p.  523,  for  exhibits  5  and  8.  'H 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  25 

Pro-American  Short  Subjects — Continued 

Release  date  Title 

February  11,  1939 Lincoln  in  the  White  House  (patriotic  series). 

Producer:  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director:  William  McGann. 

Writers:  Original  screen  play  by  Charles  Tedford. 

Stars:  Frank  McGlynn,  Sr.,  Dickie  Moore. 
November  26,  1938 Declaration  of  Independence  (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writers :  Original   screen   play  by  Charles  Tedford. 

Stars:  John  Litel,  Ted  Osborne,  Roselle  Towue. 
July  1,  1939 Right  Way,  the. 

Producer:  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director:  Crane  Wilbui". 

Writers :  Original  screen  play  by  Dore  Schary. 

Stars:  Irene   Rich,    Gabriel   Dall,   Hanry   O  Neill. 
August  31,  1940 Service  With  the  Colors  (dedicated  to  U.  S.  Army). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Writers :  Original  screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars  :  Robert  Armstrong,  William  Landigan. 
February  24,  1940 Teddy  the  Rough  Rider  (patriotic  series). 

Producer:  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director:  Ray  Enright. 

Writers :  Original    screen   play  by  Charles   Tedford. 

Stars :  Sdney    Blackmer,    Pierre   Watkin,    Theodore 
Von  Eltz. 
December  23,  1939 Old  Hickory  (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director:  Lew  Seller. 

Writers :  Screen  play  by  Don  Rayn  and  Owen  Crump. 

Stars:  Hugh  Sothern.  Nana  Bryant,  Victor  Kilian. 
October  14,  1939 Monroe  Doctrine  (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writers:  Original  screen  play  by  Charles  Tedford. 
Stars :  Grant  Mitchell,  James  Stephenson. 
October  19,  1&40 Flag  of  Humanity   (patriotic  series). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Jean  Negulesco. 

Writers  :  Written  by  Charles  Tedford. 

Stars  :  Nana  Bryant,  Fay  Helm. 
June  20,  1942 March  of  Ame'ica. 

Producer:  Gordon   HoUingshead. 

Writers :  Written  by  Owen  Crump,  narrated  by  Rich- 
ard Whorf. 
November  28,  1942__  Spirit  of  West  Point,  The. 

Producer :  Gordon   HoUingshead. 

Director:  Jean  Negiilesco. 
September  5,  1942 Spirit  of  Annapolis,  The. 

Producer :  Gordon   HoUingshead. 

Director:  Jean  Negulesco. 
February  27,  1943 Armv  Show. 

Director:  Jean  Negulesco. 

Writers :  Based    on    radio    program    Soldiers    With 
Wings. 
November   4,    1944—  Champions  of  th*^  Future. 

Producer:  Howard  Hill. 

Director:  Howard  Hill. 

Writers:  Narration  written  by  Roger  Z.  Denny. 
March  18,  1944 Chinatown  Champs. 

Producer :  Van  Campen  Heilner  and  A.  Pam  Blumen- 
thal. 

Director:  Andre  De  La  Varre. 

W  iters:  Narration  written  by  Jack  SchoU. 
November  6,  1943 Our  Alaskan  Frontier. 

Writers :  Narration  written  by  Carl  Dudley. 


26  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

PROnAMKRicAN  Short  SUBJECTS — (^ontimiefl 

Release  date  Title 

April  29,  1944 Our  Frontier  in  Italy. 

Writers:  Narration  written  by  Saul  Elkins. 

August  12, 1945 Devil  Boats. 

April  as,  1945 It  Happened  in  Sprinsfield. 

Producer:  Gordon  HoUingshead. 
Director :  Crane  Wilbur. 
Writers :  Crane  Wilbur. 

Stars :  Andrea  King,  Warren  Douglas,  Charles  Drake> 
John  Qualen. 
November  11,  1944___   I  Won't  Play. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director:  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writei-s :  Story  by  Laurence  Schwab.    Screen  play  by 

James  Bloodworth. 
Stars:  Dane    Clark,    Janis    Paige,    Warren    Douglas, 
Robert  Shayne,  William  Haade,  William  Benedict. 

December  23,  1944 I  Am  an  American. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writers :  Written  by  Crane  Wilbur. 

August  4,  1943 America  the  Beautiful. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Writers :  Narration  by  Owen  Crump  and  Saul  Elkins. 

February  3,  1945 Pledge  to  Bataan. 

Producer:  Gordon  Holingshead ;  associate,  Herbert  T. 

Edwards. 
Director:  David  GrifRn. 

Writers:  Narration  by  Ralph  Schoolman 'and  Charles 
L.  Tedford. 
September  1,  1945—  Miracle  Makers  (reissue). 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Owen  Crump. 

Writers:  From  additional  film  by  Lester  Ilfeld. 

October  13,  1945 Star  in  the  Night. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Don  Siegel. 

Writers :  Screen  play  by  Saul  Elkins.     From  a  story 

by  Robert  Finch. 
Stars  :  J.  Carrol  Naish,  Donald  Woods,  Rosina  Galli. 

October  10,  1945 Sports  Go  to  War. 

Producers :   A.   Pam   Blumenthal   and   Andre  De  La 

Varre. 
Supervised  by  Gordon  HoUingshead. 
Director:  Van  Campen  Heilner. 
Writer :  Narration  written  by  Charles  L.  Tedford. 

March  30,  1946 All  Aboard. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 
Director :  Carl  Dudley. 
Writer:   Saul  Elkins. 

August  24,  1946 Men  of  Tomorrow. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 
Director :  Saul  Elkins. 
Writer:  Saul  Elkins. 

June  15,  1946 Hawaiian  Memories. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 
Director  :  John  D.  Craig. 
Writer:  Narration  by  Saul  Elkins. 

October  19,  1946 Star  Spangled  City. 

Producer :  Gordon  HoUingshead. 

Director :  Carl  Dudley. 

Writer :  Narration  written  by  Charles  Linton  Tedford 

1945 Divide  and  Conquer. 

1946 Hitler  Lives.    Academy  award  winning  short. 

Power  Behind  the  Nation. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  27 

[Congressional  Record — Proceedings  and  debates  of  the  80th  Cong.,  1st  sess.] 

Statement  of  Senator  Martin,  of  Pennsylvania,  on  Education  in  Patbiotism 
Through  Motion  Pictures 

In  the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  Wednesday,  July  16, 1947 

Mr.  Martin.  Mr.  President,  there  is  before  the  Senate  a  measure  by  the  dis- 
tinguished senior  Senator  from  Vermont  recommending  Government  production 
of  films  about  the  American  system  of  constitutional  government.  It  is  proposed 
to  make  these  films  available  to  schools  as  educational  documents  in  order  to 
inculcate  into  our  young  people  a  better  understanding  of  the  American  system. 

This  is  a  notable  purpose.  But  I  should  like  to  see  such  films  shovpn  to  that 
very  large  portion  of  our  adult  population  vphich  attends  the  motion-picture 
theaters.  In  my  opinion  it  is  just  as  important  for  our  adults  to  see  such  motion 
pictures  as  it  is  for  our  children. 

In  this  connection,  I  want  to  call  the  attention  of  this  body  to  an  important 
venture  of  a.  similar  nature  already  accomplished  through  private  enterprise. 
During  the  past  decade  there  has  been  produced  a  series  of  patriotic  featurettes 
in  color  about  American  history.  Not  only  have  they  been  widely  exhibited  in 
theaters,  but  they  have  been  available  in  recent  years  without  profit  for  non- 
theatrical  showings  by  churches,  educational  institutions,  patriotic  organizations, 
and  clubs.  The  Treasury  Department,  itself,  distributed  the  most  recent  of  the 
series — America  the  Beautiful,  a  technicolor  production. 

These  films  were  made  by  Warner  Bros.,  one  of  the  great  motion-picture  pro- 
ducer.s,  with  a  fine  sense  of  civic  responsibility  and  good  citizenship.  When  their 
theater  engagements  had  been  completed,  they  were  made  into  16-millimeter  films 
for  schools  and  civic  bodies  to  show.  Some  of  the  finest  actors  of  the  motion- 
picture  industry  appeared  in  them,  and  the  productions  were  of  the  highest 
artistic  caliber. 

Because  of  the  new  bill,  I  am  glad  to  call  attention  to  the  timeliness  of  the 
Warner  Bros,  featurettes,  and  to  mention  some  of  their  titles  and  topics. 

The  first  was  The  Song  of  a  Nation,  which  told  the  story  of  how  the  Star-Span- 
gled  Banner  came  to  be  written.  Released  to  theaters  on  June  4,  1946,  it  proved 
so  successful  that  a  whole  series  of  historical  shorts  followed. 

Give  IMe  Liberty  made  moviegoers  part  of  the  audience  which  heard  Patrick 
Henry  make  his  stirring  speech  to  the  Virginia  House  of  Delegates  in  1775. 
Other  outstanding  pictures  of  these  series  have  been  : 

The  Declaration  of  Independence,  showing  the  signing  of  that  historic  docu- 
ment; The  Bill  of  Rights,  in  which  audiences  saw  the  fight  for  a  free  press  and 
free  speecli ;  Sons  of  Liberty,  portraying  Haym  Soloman  ;  the  Romance  of  Louisi- 
ana, with  James  Monroe  negotiating  the  great  Louisiana  Purchase. 

Theater  audiences  also  saw  President  Monroe  read  his  historic  message  to 
Congress  in  The  Monroe  Doctrine ;  saw  the  defense  of  New  Orleans  by  Andrew 
Jackson  in  Old  Hickory ;  and  a  dramatization  of  the  famous  Man  Without  a 
Country.  There  were  also  Lincoln  in  the  White  House,  to  give  one  side  of  the 
War  Between  the  States ;  and  Under  Southern  Stars,  to  give  the  other.  The  final 
picture  was  Teddy,  the  Rough  Rider. 

Song  of  a  Nation  was  reissued  last  May  and  is  again  being  shown  in  the 
theaters,  while  I  understand  that  Teddy,  the  Rough  Rider,  will  come  out  once 
more  next  season,  with  some  of  the  others  to  follow. 

This  is  a  good  time  to  take  note  of  these  fine  productions.  World  affairs  are  in 
an  uncertain  state,  and  there  is  a  tug  of  war  between  our  kind  of  country  and 
communistic  dictatorship.  Our  people  tend  to  take  America  for  granted  and  to 
forget  why  it  came  about  and  the  heroism  and  sacrifice  which  went  into  making 
our  Nation's  greatness. 

I  am  so  glad  that  this  splendid  series  of  patriotic  motion  pictures  is  available 
not  only  to  schools  but  to  the  adult  population  as  well.  It  is  important  that  movies 
like  these  be  shown  in  our  theaters  today,  not  only  to  educate  the  children  but 
also  to  reeducate  the  adults. 

The  skill  and  patriotic  effoi-ts  of  those  at  the  Warner  Bros,  studios  who  pre- 
pared the.se  dramatizations  of  the  making  of  our  Republic  should  be  given  full 
recognition.  It  is  proper  and  fitting  that  Warner  Bros,  should  be  commended 
here  in  the  United  States  Senate  for  this  important  contribution  to  good  citizen- 
ship. It  is  an  outstanding  example  of  this  kind  of  service  that  motion  pictures 
can  render  to  the  Nation. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  just  want  to  give  you  the  last  one  or  two.  One  is 
running  now — I  won't  say  at  what  tlieater — but  one  is  running.    It  is 


28  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

in  technicolor,  and  it  is  worth  seeing.  Every  American  should  see  it ; 
not  only  every  American,  but  every  foreigner  who  thinks  he  wants  to 
be  an  American. 

The  Chairman.  ;Mr.  Warner,  I  hope  some  of  these  other  producers 
speak  as  well  for  some  of  their  pictures. 

Mr.  Warner.  You  can  find  in  tliese  pictures,  gentlemen,  pictures 
like  Give  Me  Liberty,  Man  Without  a  Country,  Romance  of  Louisiana; 
also  the  Bill  of  Rights,  Lincoln  in  the  White  House,  Declaration  of 
Independence,  Teddy,  the  Rough  Rider,  Old  Hickory,  Monroe  Doc- 
trine, Flag  of  Humanity.  A  good  one  to  see  is  March  On,  America.  I 
Am  an  American ;  that  is  a  very  good  film  we  should  all  see  again  to 
reaffirm  what  this  country  is  all  about.  It  was  written  during  the 
height  of  the  war  in  England.    America  the  Beautiful 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead  with  your  questions. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  want  the  American  people  to  know  about  that. 

The  Chairman.  They  will  know  about  it.    It  will  be  in  the  record. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  want  to  make  sure  it  is  in  the  record.  Also,  here 
is  a  pro-American  film  produced  by  Warner  Bros,  studies,  without 
profit,  in  cooperation  with  the  United  States  armed  forces.  The  last 
one  was  called  The  Last  Bomb.  It  is  in  technicolor.  It  was  made  by 
the  United  States  Army  Air  Force  and  is  worth  seeing.  These  are  26 
pictures.  I  won't  give  you  the  names  of  all,  but  they  were  all  for  the 
war  effort. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  Warner,  I  think  I  can  see  why  you  have  been  so 
successful  in  selling  your  pictures  to  the  American  public. 

Getting  back  to  my  original  point,  Warner  Bros,  has  made  a  great 
number  of  very  effective  antitotalitarian  pictures  in  which  they  pointed 
out  the  dangers  of  fascism  and  nazism.  They  have  also  made  some 
very  effective  films  under  what  we  might  term  "selling  America"  pic- 
tures, in  which  you  point  out  the  benefits  of  our  American  system  and 
in  which  you  describe  the  freedoms  which  we  have  here. 

You  have  also  said  you  make  about  24  full-length  pictures  a  year 
and  50  or  60  short  subjects.  You  have  indicated  here  in  your  state- 
ment that  you  are  willing  to  establish  a  fund  to  ship  to  Russia  the 
people  who  do  not  like  our  system  of  government  and  who  prefer  the 
Communist  system  to  ours. 

You  have  also  indicated  from  some  of  your  observations  that  you 
question  the  fact  that  there  may  be  free  speech  or  a  free  screen  in 
Russia.  You  have  questioned  some  of  the  methods;  and  I  am  sure 
if  you  have  just  returned  from  Europe,  as  I  have,  and  have  seen  the 
conditions  in  Italy  and  Yugoslavia  and  in  France,  you  have  no  ques- 
tion but  that  the  totalitarian  methods  used  bv  the  Communists  are  no 
different  from  those  used  by  the  Fascists  or  Nazis. 

Under  those  circumstances,  I  would  like  to  know  whether  or  not 
Warner  Bros,  has  made,  or  is  making  at  the  present  time,  any  pictures 
pointing  out  the  methods  and  the  evils  of  totalitarian  communism,  as 
you  so  effectively  have  pointed  out  the  evils  of  the  totalitarian  Nazis. 

Mr.  Warner.  We  are  preparing,  and  will  make,  one  film  called  Up 
Until  Now.  That  picture  has  been  in  the  process  of  writing,  but  it 
is  a  very  serious  subject,  and  we  have  been  criticized  by  some  people  in 
messages.  I  am  sure  we  will  come  to  it  a  little  later.  We  want  to  be 
positive  we  know  what  we  are  doing. 

Mr.  Nixon.  The  reason  you  have  not  made  pictures  pointing  out 
the  evils  of  the  totalitarian  system  on  the  left,  as  well  as  on  the  right, 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  29 

is,  as  you  have  indicated  here,  that  if  you  did  so  you  wouhl  have  tre- 
mendous objection  from  within  the  industry  itself? 

Mr.  Warner.  Not  the  industry. 

Mr.  Nixon.  When  I  speak  of  the  industry,  I  mean  the  people  em- 
})loyed  by  the  industry,  the  writers',  and  the  people  outside  who  think 
tliey  have  a  vested  interest  in  it. 

Mr.  Wakxek.  I  am  not  worried  about  those  in  the  industry  who 
will  object,  because  since  the  beginning  of  the  ages  people  have  been 
objecting  to  what  others  are  doing  in  their  own  ranks,  but  I  want 
to  be  positive  when  we  make  a  film  pertaining  to  the  activities  of  the 
Communists  in  America,  and  the  Fascists  as  well,  we  want  to  be  right 
in  our  presentation. 

Then  we  have  made,  as  I  told  you,  500  subjects  showing  the  positive 
American  way  of  life.  I  think  that  is  a  great  counter  to  the  Communist 
and  Fascist  way  of  life. 

Mr.  Nixox.  I  agree  with  you  absolutely,  Mr.  Warner.  I  believe 
it  is  essential,  as  you  have  put  it  so  well  in  your  statement,  we  must 
attack  with  a  free  press  and  a  free  screen.  I  also  believe  that  you 
have  stated  in  your  statement  freedom  of  expression  does  not  include  a 
license  to  destroy. 

But  I  think  the  point  still  must  be  well  taken ;  and  from  your  obser- 
vations, I  think  you  will  agree  with  it,  that  there  is  not  only  a  positive 
duty  on  the  part  of  you  as  an  xVmerican  citizen  to  point  out  the  benefits 
of  our  way  of  life  as  you  are  doing  so  effectively,  but  also  when  we 
see  a  real,  present  danger  to  our  system,  a  danger  which  would  impose 
upon  America  a  system  of  government  which  would  deny  to  all  of  us 
the  freedoms  we  now  have — as  was  the  case  with  the  Nazis  back  in 
1989  and  1940 — it  is  not  only  your  duty  to  point  out  the  truth  but 
also  the  facts,  so  that  the  American  people  will  be  able  to  make  a  choice. 
If  they  want  that  sort  of  thing,  then  they  should  know  what  it  is. 

Under  the  circumstances.  I  think  this  committee  is  glad  to  hear  that 
Warner  Bros,  is  contemplating  for  the  first  time  now  making  a  motion 
l)icture  in  which  they  point  out  to  the  American  people  the  dangers  of 
totalitarian  comnumisni  as  well  as  fascism. 

Mr.  AVakxer.  There  is  one  other  film  we  made  some  years  ago  called 
the  Black  Legion.  It  Avas  an  actual-fact  story.  It  caused  quite  a 
furor,  down  to  threats  upon  lives,  and  so  on.  We  will  certainly  con- 
tinue, as  long  as  we  are  in  the  motion-picture  industry,  to  aid  this  great 
country  of  the  United  States  with  every  ounce  of  energy  we  possess. 
1  speak  for  my  brothers  and  myself. 

^Ir.  Nixox.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  like  to  have  this  additional  list  placed  in  the 
record;  these  26.^ 

The  Chair.aiax.  Without  objection,  it  will  be  done. 
(The  list  referred  to  is  as  follows :) 

Pro-American  Shobt  Subjects  PRODrcF;u  bv  Warner  Bros.  Stluids 

(Produfetl  in  cooperation  with  United  States  aimed  forces) 

Jielra.se  date  Title 

Nov.  2.  194(5 Last  Uonib,  The. 

In  cooperation  witli  United  States  Army  Air  Forces. 

Sui)ervised  by  Frank  Lloyd. 


'  .Sfe  appcmlix.  p.  .")2.'i.  for  cxliibit  7. 
67G83— 47 -3 


30  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Pbo-American  Short  Subjects  Produced  by  Warner  Bros.  Studios — Continued 

Release  date  Title 

Apr.  13,  1946 Gem  of  the  Ocean  (U.  S.  Navy). 

Narration  by  Cliarles  L.  Tedford. 
September  29,  1945--  Here  Comes  the  Nqvy  Biuid. 

Director:  Dave  Gould. 

Photographed  in  cooptn-ation  with  (U.  S.  Navy). 
January  G,  1945 Beaelihead  to  Berlin  (  U.  S.  Coastguard).  ♦ 

Narration  written  by  Charles  Linton  Tedford. 
August  IS,  1945 Orders  From  Tolvyo. 

In  cooperation  with  the  Philippine  government  and 
the  Office  of  Strategic  Services. 

Prologue  by  Brig.  Gen.  Carlos  P.  Romulo,  Resident 
Commissioner    of    the    Philippines,    to    the    United 
States  photographer  and  narrated  by  David  C  Grif- 
fin, captain,  United  States  Marine  Corps. 
September  23,  1944__.  Proudly  We  Serve  (U.  S.  Marine  Corps). 

Director :  Crane  Wilbur. 

Writer:  Written  by  Crane  Wilbur. 

Stars :  Andrea  King,  Warren  Douglas. 
March  3,  1945 Nav.v  Nurse  (U.  S.  Navy). 

Director :  D.  Ross  Lederman. 

Stars :  Andrea     King,     Marjorie     Riordan,     Warren 
Douglas. 
July  7,  1945 Live  an<l  Learn  (U.  S.  Army). 

Writer :  Charles  Tedford. 
July  21,  1945 Yankee  Doodle's  Daughters  (U.  S.  Army  and  Navy). 

Director :  Dave  Gould. 
October  2,  1945 Women  at  War  (U.  S.  Army). 

Director :  Jean  Negulesco. 

Writer :  Screen  play  by  Charles  L.  Tedford. 

Stars :  Faye  Emerson,  Dorothy  Day,  INIarjorie  Hosh- 
elle,  Virginia  Christine,  Robert  Warwick. 
December  11,  1943—  Task  Force  (U.  S.  Coast  Guard). 

January  1,  1944 Into   the   Clouds    (Office   of  the   Quartermaster   General, 

U.  S.  Army). 

October  10,  1942 Ship  Is  Born.  A   (U.  S.  Maritime  Commission  and  U.  S. 

Coast  Guard). 

Director :  .Jean  Negulesco. 

Writer  :  Written  by  Capt.  Owen  Crump. 
January  2,  1943 Fighting  Engineers.  The  (U.  S.  Engineering  Col-ps). 

Director  :  B.  Reaves  Eason. 

Writers:  Screen  play  by  Charles  Tedford  and  Owen 
Crump. 

Stars :  Richard  Ti-avis,  Robert  Armstrong,  and  James 
Flavin. 
August  7,  1943 Mountain  Fighters  (U.  S.  Army). 

Director :  B.  Reaves  Eason. 

Writer :  Screen  play  by  Charles  L.  Tedford. 

Stars :  John  Ridgely,  Peter  Wiiitney,  Warren  Douglas. 
June  26,  1943 Champions  Training  Champions. 

Photographer  by  Bureau  of  Aeronautics,  United  States 
Navy. 

Writer :  James  Bloodworth. 
November  7,  1942 Beyond  the  Line  of  Duty. 

Produced  with  War  Department  cooperation. 

Director :  Lewis  Seller. 

Writer:  Edwin  Gilbert. 

Star:  Capt.  Hewitt  T.  Wheless,  United  States  Army 
Air  Force. 
April   10,   1043 Rear  Gunner,  The. 

Produced  with  cooperation  of  War  Department. 

Director  :  Ray  p]nright. 

Writer:  Written  by  Edwin  Gilbert. 

Stars:   Burgess  M 'rcdith,  Ronald  Regan,  Tom  N:^al, 
Bernard  Zanville,  Jonathan  Hale. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  31 

Pro-Amekican  Short  Subjects  Produced  by  Warner  Bros.  Studios — Continued 

Release  date  Title 

October  4,    1941 Tanks  Aie  Coming,  Tlie  (U.  S.  Army). 

Writer :  Original  screen  pl;iy  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars :  George  Tobias,  WMIiani  Justice. 
February  7,  1042 Soldiers  in  Wiiite  (U.  S.  Army). 

Writer :  Original  screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars:  William  Orr,  John  Litel,  Eleantu-  Parker. 
July  25.  1042 Men  of  tlie  Sky  (U.  S.  Army  Air  Forces). 

Director :  B.    Reaves   Eason. 

Wi-iter:  Written  and  narrated  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars :  Michael  Ames,  Eleanor  Parker. 
December  14,  1940—  March  on  Marines  (U.  S.  Marine  Corps). 

Director  :  B.  Reaves  Eason. 

Writer :  Screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars :  Dennis  Moran,  John  Litel. 
February   a   1941 Meet  the  Fleet  (U.  S.  Navy). 

Director:  B.  Reaves  Eason. 

Writer :  Original  screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars :  Robert  Armstrong,  William  T.  Orr. 
April  5,  1941 Wings  of  Steel  (U.  S.  Army  Air  Corps). 

Director :  B.  Reaves  Eason. 

Wiiter :  Original  screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars  :  Douglas  Kennedy,  Hei-bert  Anderson. 
June  28,  1941 Here  Comes  the  Cavalry  (U.  S.  Cavalry). 

Director:  D.  Ross  Lederman. 

Writer:  Oi'iginal  screen  play  by  Owen  Crump. 

Stars:  William  Justice,  Ralph  Byrd. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  Mr.  Warner,  I  can,  of  course,  appreciate  the  extreme 
difficulties  confronting  producers  of  pictures  in  undertaking  to  screen 
every  employee  engaged  in  the  various  activities  of  the  picture  indus- 
try; but  what  I  am  concerned  with  is  to  ascertain  whether  or  not 
there  is  now  any  producer  in  America,  or  responsible  studio  head,  who 
knowingly  maintains  undei-  his  employment  any  person  w^ho  under- 
takes to  inject  into  pictures  un-American  doctrines  or  ideologies  which 
seek  to  weaken  or  destroy  the  form  of  government  under  which  this 
Nation  has  grown  to  its  place  amongst  the  nations  of  the  earth.  Do 
you  know  of  any  such  producer,  and,  if  so,  I  would  like  to  have  the 
name. 

]\Ir.  AVarner.  I  personall}^  do  not  know  anj^one  employing  anyone 
who  is  willfully  or  otherwise  endeavoring  to  do  anything  to  the  sys- 
tem of  American  government.  As  I  said  earlier — it  is  what  I  have 
read — certain  writers  have  a  membership  in  communistic  parties. 
Some  of  them  haven't  denied  it  after  being  accused  by  the  press,  so  I 
don't  know  whether  they  stand  convicted  or  not.  I  am  not  the  one 
to  judge  whether  they  are  Communists  or  not. 

Mr.  Wood.  That  is  all,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

]\Ir.  McDowell.  Mr.  AVarner,  I  would  like  an  opinion  from  you. 
You  are  a  very  astute  man.  I  recently  discovered  tliat  some  people  who 
hel))ed  set  up  tliat  thing  in  Europe,  in  Germany  and  Italy,  have  gotten 
into  America.  Would  you  agree  with  this  committee  or  with  me  that 
it  woidd  be  good  for  America  to  take  these  folks  down  to  Ellis  Island 
and  ])ut  them  on  a  boat  and  send  them  home.? 

Mr.  AVarxei;.  You  mean  that  if  anyone  comes  into  this  country  who 
eiideavois  to  irain  admittance 


32  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  INIcDcAVELL.  I  mean  actual  Fascist  political  figures  from  Ger- 
many and  Italy;  we  have  cliscovered  some  of  them  here  in  the  United 
States.  Would  you  agree  with  me  they  ought  to  be  given  back  to  Italy 
and  Germany  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Are  they  motion-picture  people? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No;  politicians. 

Mr.  Nixon.  It  wouldn't  make  any  difference  whether  they  were  mo- 
tion-picture people  or  otherwise,  would  it  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  This  being  as  to  the  motion-picture  industry  I  want 
to  be  careful  what  I  say;  I  don't  want  to  get  into  politics  too  rapidly. 

Mr.  McDowell.  All  right. 

Mr.  Wx\rner.  Don't  let  them  in;  not  only  send  them  back,  but  don't 
let  them  get  off  the  boat. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  in  mentioning  the  pictures  which  you 
have  produced,  I  noticed  you  did  not  mention  Mission  to  Moscow. 

Mr.  Warner.  What  list  are  you  referring  to  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  referred  to  the  pictures  you  have  made. 

Mr.  Warner.  Do  you  want  me  to  read  the  list  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  No;  but  we  want  to  get  to  Mission  to  Moscow. 
Would  you  like  to  testify  about  that  here,  or  do  you  want  me  to  read 
your  former  testimony? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  like  to  correct  one  error  that  I  personally 
committed  by  not  having  the  facts  in  Los  Angeles.  It  is  not  a  great 
error. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  ask,  Mr.  Chairman,  that  the  witness  be  permitted 
to  correct  that  statement  when  we  reach  it.  Shall  we  proceed  with  your 
testimony  on  Mission  to  Moscow  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Very  well. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  this  is  the  testimony  which  was  given 
in  Los  Angeles  before  the  subcommittee  regarding  the  picture  Mission 
to  Moscow. 

Mr.  Stripling  to  Mr.  Warner : 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  asked  to  make  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  There  is  a  correction  I  wish  to  make. 
Mr.  Stripling.  Let  me  read  your  first  statement. 
Mr.  Warner.  I  just  wish  the  record  to  show  that  I  want  to  make  a 
correction. 

Mr.  Stripling    (reading)  : 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  say  we  were  to  a  degree.  You  can  put  it  in  that  way 
in  one  form  or  another. 

Is  that  what  you  want  to  correct  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  appreciate  if  I  could  correct  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Just  that  answer,  or  are  there  other  answers? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  it  is  on  that  point. 

I  would  say  we  were  to  a  degree.  You  can  put  it  in  that  way  in  one  form  or 
another. 

Then  Mr.  Thomas  said :  "Who  asked  you  to  make  Mission  to  Mos- 
cow?''   And  I  replied,  "I  would  say  the  former  Ambassador  Davies." 

That  is  not  correct.  Since  making  that  statement  I  have  gone  over 
the  authentic  details  of  wjiat  occurred,  and  here  they  are  in  sequence. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  33 

On  page  19  at  the  bottom  that  question  was  asked,  and  if  you  will 
i>o  to  page  22,  you  will  find  that  I  replied — well,  it  refers  to  who  con- 
tacted us  about  making  the  film.    I  said : 

At  the  time  I  can't  remember  if  he  contacted  us,  or  my  brother  who  was  in 
New  York  contacted  Mr.  Davies.  I  can't  say  who  contacted  whom,  but  I  know 
that  we  went  ahead  with  it. 

Here  is  the  story  of  what  occurred.  My  brother  contacted  Mr. 
Davies  after  reading  Misson  to  Moscow  as  a  best  seller  on  the  stands 
and  in  the  new\spapers.  Mr.  Davies  stated,  "There  are  other  com- 
panies wanting  to  produce  this  book  and  I  would  be  very  happy 
to  do  business  with  you  if  you  want  to  make  it,"  or  words  to  that 
effect.  My  brother  made  the  deal  with  Mr.  Davies  to  make  it  and  it 
was  at  my  brother's  suggestion  and  not  Mr.  Davies'.  I  am  rather 
surprised  I  said  what  I  did.  but  I  want  to  stand  corrected,  if  I  may. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  All  right,  Mr.  Warner.  Now,  I  would  like  to  read 
further.  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chaikman.  Proceed. 

Mr.  Stripling  (reading)  : 

Mr.  Stripuxg.  Did  Mr.  Davies  coni'e  to  Hollywood  to  see  you  relative  to  the 
making  of  Mission  of  Moscow,  or  did  you  confer  with  him  at  any  time  about  it 
in  person? 

Mr.  Warnek.  I  conferred  with  him  in  AVashington  and  we  made  the  deal  in 
the  East,  in  New  York  or  Washington ;  I  have  forgotten  which.  But  he  did 
come  here  when  the  film  was  being  produced,  and  he  also  acted  in  an  advisory 
capacity  throughout  tlie  making  of  the  film.  As  a  matter  of, fact,  he  appeared 
in  a  slight  prologue  of  the  picture. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Don't  you  consider  very  frankly  that  the  film  Mission  to  Mos- 
cow was  in  some  ways  a  misinterpretation  of  the  facts,  or  the  existing 
conditions'/ 

Mr.  Warner.  Of  the  time,  you  mean? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  In  1942? 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words,  certain  historical  incidents  which  were  por- 
trayed in  the  film  were  not  true  to  fact? 

Mr.  Warner.  Well,  all  I  could  go  by — I  read  the  novel  and  spoke  to  Mr.  Davies 
on  many,  many  occasions.  I  had  to  take  his  word  that  they  were  the  facts.  He 
had  published  the  novel  and  we  were  criticized  severely  by  the  press  in  New 
York  and  elsewhere.  As  I  remember,  it  was  started  up  by  this  Professor  Dewey 
from  Columbia  University.  From  what  I  read  and  heard,  he  was  a  Trotskyite 
and  tliey  were  the  ones  who  objected  mostly  to  this  filia  because  of  Lenin  versus 
Trotsk.v 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  Dr.  John  Dewey? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes.  That  is  what  I  read.  He  made  statements  in  the  New 
York  Times  which  were  as  long  as  the  paper  was,  but  as  to  the  actual  facts, 
if  they  weren't  portrayed  authentically — I  never  was  in  Russia  myself  and  I 
don't  know  what  they  were  doing  in  1942,  other  than  seeing  the  events  of  the 
battles  for  Stalingrad  and  Moscow,  which  we  all  saw  in  the  films  and  read  about. 
But  I  talked  to  ^Ir.  Davies  about  that  after  we  were  criticized,  and  there  is  only 
one  thing  tliat  happens  which  is  a  license,  what  we  call  condensation  in  the 
making  of  films.  We  put  the  two  trials  in  one  and  the  two  trials  were  condensed 
because  if  you  ran  the  two  trials  it  would  go  on  for  20  reels.  I  personally  did 
not  consider  that  film  pro-Communist  at  the  time. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Now,  it  is  1947.     Do  you  think  it  is  pro-Coninmnist  now? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  I  would  have  to  think  over.  Let  me  pause  for  a  minute 
and  ask  you  a  question  or  two,  if  you  don't  mind.  You  mean  by  saying  that  the 
type  of  scenes  shown  in  that  film  today  would  that  make  the  picture  pro-Com- 
munist ;  is  that  it? 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  said  in  1^942. 

Mr.  Warner.  It  was  made  in  1942. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  believe  it  wns  pro-Communist? 

Mr.  Warner.  No.     We  wei'e  at  war  at  that  time. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Now  it  is  1947.     Do  you  believe  it  is  pro-Communist? 


34  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  yon  release  the  film  now,  in  other  words? 

Mr.  Warner.  No ;  we  would  not  release  the  film  now. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Why  not  release  the  film  now? 

Mr.  W^\RNE2i.  Because  of  the  way  Russia  is  handling  international  affairs  since 
the  cessation  of  the  war.  I  consider,  in  my  opinion  as  an  American,  that  they 
are  advocating  communism  throughout  the  world  and  I  am  not  in  any  shape, 
manner,  or  form  in  favor  of  anything  like  that.  In  fact,  I  despise  and  detest 
the  very  word. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  say  Mr.  Davies  got  in  touch  with  you.  He  was  the  first 
one  to  get  in  touch  with  you  about  the  idea  of  producing  this  film  ;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Warner.  At  the  time  I  can't  remember  if  he  contacted  us,  or  my  brother 
who  was  in  New  York  contacted  Mr.  Davies.  I  can't  say  who  contacted  whom, 
but  I  know  that  we  went  ahead  with  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  any  other  person  in  the  Government  contact  either  you  or 
your  brother  in  connection  with  producing  Mission  to  Moscow? 

]\Ir.  AVarner.  Not  to  my  knowledge ;  no. 

Mr.  Stiupling.  What  about  the  State  Department? 

Mr.  Warnek.  You  mean  anyone  in  the  State  Department  that  asked  us  to 
make  it? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  they  consulted  in  any  way  in  this  film,  or  did  they  consult 
with  you? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  trying  to  think  hard  who 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  am  being  very  frank,  Mr.  Warner. 

Mr.  Warner.  If  you  will  give  me  a  couple  of  minutes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  will  be  very  frank  with  you.  The  charge  is  often  made  and 
many  statements  have  been  made  to  the  committee  to  the  effect  that  Mission  to 
Moscow  was  made  at  the  request  of  our  Government  as  a  so-called  appeasement 
or  pap  to  the  Russians ;  in  other  words,  it  was  produced  at  the  request  of  the 
Government.    Now,  is  such  a  statement  without  foundation? 

Mr.  Warner.  I^ee  what  you  mean.  No  ;  it  is  not  without  foundation.  That  is 
why  I  am  very  happy  you  put  it  that  way.  In  order  to  answer  that  question 
correctly,  I  would  say  there  were  rumors  and  many  stories  to  the  effect  that 
if  Stalingrad  fell,  Stalin  would  again  join  up  with  Hitler  because,  naturally, 
the  way  the  stories  were  that  far  back,  during  the  hardest  days  of  the  war,  fi-om 
what  I  could  get  out  of  it,  is  that  the  authorities  in  Washington  who  were  con- 
ducting tlie  war  were  afraid  if  Stalin  would  make  up  with  Hitler  they  would 
destroy  the  world,  not  only  continental  Europe  and  Russia,  but  Japan  and 
everything  else.  And  we  know  what  the  scheme  of  things  was,  that  the  Japs 
and  Germans  were  to  meet  in  India  or  Egypt,  I  forget  just  which. 

IMr.  Thomas.  Do  you  mean  to  say  some  of  the  Government  officials  in  Wash- 
ington informed  you  that  they  were  fearful  that  Stalin  might  hook  up  with 
Hitler? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  but  that  was  the  tenor  of  things.  It  would  be  pretty  hard 
for  me  to  say  that  someone  told  me  that,  but  that  was  just  the  general  feeling 
in  Washington.    Every  time  I  would  go  there  that  would  be  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Mr.  Stripling  asked  a  question  that  I  don't  think  we  have  had 
an  answer  to  yet. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Let  me  state  further,  Mr.  Chairman,  it  has  also  been  charged 
that  this  film  had  the  tacit  approval,  if  not  the  request,  of  the  White  House. 

Mr.  Warner,  was  there  anything  that  occurred  prior  to  the  production  of  this 
film  which  led  you  to  believe  that  the  Government,  the  Federal  Government, 
desired  that  this  film  be  made  as  a  contribution  to  the  war  effort?  In  other 
words,  what  I  want  to  make  clear,  there  is  no  desire  on  the  part  of  the  sub- 
committee to  put  you  or  your  company  on  the  spot  for  making  Mission  to  ^Moscow 
but  if  it  was  nuide,  as  in  other  films,  at  the  request  of  the  Government  as  a 
so-called  patriotic  duty,  you  would  have  no  other  course  to  follow  and  you  would 
naturally  be  expected  to  do  so. 

Mr.  Warner.  The  general  feeling  as  I  found  it  in  Washington  was  a  tre- 
mendous fear  that  Stalin  might  go  back  with  Hitler  because  he  had  done  it  before. 

Mr.  Thomas.  No.  What  we  want  to  get  at  is  the  reason,  not  the  general 
feelings. 

IMr.  Warner.  Yes  ;  but  I  am  just  going  to  come  back  to  that. 

Mr.  Thomas.  All  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  The  Russians  were  very  discouraged  and  they  figured  that  the 
United  States  was  not  going  to  back  them  up  with  lend-lease  and  so  on  and  so 
forth  in  sufficient  quantities  to  beat  Hitler,  wliich  was  very,  very  important)  to 
civilization,  and  the  feeling  was  if  a  film  could  be  made — and  I  imagine  other 
things  were  being  done — to  assure  the  Russians  and  Stalin 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  35 

Mr.  Thomas.  Can't  you  be  more  specific.     You  say  a  feeling  existed. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

Mr.  Thomas.  We  want  to  Ivuow  more  about  the  specific  tiling,  something  more 
than  just  a  general  feeling.  We  want  to  know  the  persons  in  the  Government 
who  got  in  touch  with  you  concerning  the  making  of  this  film. 

Mr.  Warner.  Well,  I  don't  think  Mr.  Davies  was  in  the  Government  then.  He 
was  then  ex-Ambassador  to  Russia  and  almost  everything  was  dealt  tlirough  him. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  anyone  in  the  State  Department  get  in  touch  with  you  or  not? 

Mr.  Warner.  No.  I  don't  know.  Not  to  my  knowledge.  No  one  here  or  in 
New  York. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  anyone  in  the  White  House  get  in  touch  with  you? 

Mr.  Warner.  No,  not  directly  in  touch ;  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Not  directly  in  touch? 

Mr.  WABNEm.  Do  you  mean  did  anyone  in  the  White  House  say  we  should 
make  the  film  for  reasons  along  those  lines? 

Mr.  Thomas.  Directly  or  indirectly? 

Mr.  WiUiNER.  Well,  as  I  understood  at  the  time  through  Mr.  Davies  that  he  had 
contacted  the  White  House  and  for  all  of  the  reasons  I  recited  it  was  good  for 
the  defense  and  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  to'  keep  the  Russians  in  there 
figliting  until  the  proper  time  when  the  United  States  and  Britain  could  organize, 
in  other  words,  give  us  time  to  pi'epare. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Let's  have  the  date  you  started  producing  that  film. 

Mr.  Warner.  We  started  November  9,  1942. 

Mr.  Thomas.  And  you  completed  production  when? 

Mr.  Warner.  On  February  2,  1943.     It  took  a  little  under  4  months. 

Mr.  Stripijng.  That  is  rather  a  quick  production,  isn't  it? 

Mr.  Warneoi.  No ;  that  was  about  the  usual  length  of  time.  They  are  usually 
8  or  10  weeks. 

Mr.  Stripling.  From  a  commercial  standpoint  the  film  was  not  very  successful, 
was  it? 

Mr.  Warner.  No ;  it  was  not  exceptionally  successful.  It  was  not  successful 
to  any  great  degree.     It  did  very  good  at  first. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  mean  from  what  I  lieard.  In  fact,  there  has  been  testimony 
it  was  not  very  successful. 

IMr.  Warner.  No ;  I  would  not  call  it  very  successful.  Commercially  it  wasn't 
exceedingly  successful ;  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  there  is  one  question  which  I  think  the  subcom- 
mittee would  like  to  have  cleared  up  and  I  think  that  you  as  a  studio  executive, 
could  probably  give  them  some  information  about  it. 

That  testimony,  Mr.  Chairman,  does  not  deal  with  Mission  to 
Moscow. 

I  would  like  to  skip  over  to  the  next  page,  which  picks  it  up  again 
[reading]  : 

Mr.  Stripling.  If  you  had  not  been  approached  by  Mr.  Davies  or  by  anyone  in 
the  Government  indirectly  it  would  have  been  very  likely  that  you  would  not 
have  filmed  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  we  would  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  think  the  writers  are  the  most  important  people  in  this  investi- 
gation.    I  believe  you  mentioned  Koch. 

Mr.  Warner.  Howard  Koch. 

Mr.  Warxer.  Pardon  me,  yon  missed  some  very  important  infor- 
mation here. 

ISIr.  Stripling.  I  am  sorry. 

Mr.  Warxer.  You  said  the  next  page,  and  you  skipped  a  page. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  am  .sorry,  Mr.  Warner,  I  clid. 

Mr.  Warner.  If  you  will  go  back  to  page  28  you  will  find  it  refers — 
oh,  yes;  at  the  bottom  of  page  27  [reading]  : 

Mr.  Wariter. — 

this  is  myself  speaking — 

I  was  going  to  say  something  about  that  after  I  recited  some  of  the  chronological 
events  of  the  war  in  order  to  confirm  my  feeling  for  the  reasons  that  the  Gov- 


36  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

eriiment  was  interested  in  tlie  making  of  the  pieture.  This  is  one  of  the  reasons. 
I  am  not  here  to  defend  tiie  (lovernnient  hecause  that  is  their  business. 

Mr.  Thomas.  We  will  he  glad  to  have  it. 

Mr.  VVaknkr.  When  the  Germans  were  halted  at  Stalingrad,  that  was  one  of 
the  things  Mr.  Davies  told  my  brother,  that  it  was  essential  to  keep  the  Russians 
in  there — 

Mr.  Thomas  said  "pitching,"  and  I  replied: 

*  *  *  pitching  to  give  our  country  a  chance  to  arm.  the  Navy,  the  Army, 
airpower,  and  everything  else,  which  we  were  not  prepared  for  at  the  time,  and  of 
course  history  ha.s  told  the  story. 

And  I  want  to  introdnce  the  front  pages  of  a  New  York  newspaper, 
starting  with  the  day  following  Pearl  Harbor,  December  8,  1941,  right 
np  to  December  30,  1942,  which  gives  a  very  vivid  history  of  the 
process  of  the  war  by  the  Russians. 

The  Ctiairman.  How  many  pages  are  there,  Mr.  Warner? 

]\Ir.  Warner.  I  am  going  to  read  them. 

The  Chairman.  No.     How  many  are  there? 

Mr.  WARNf:R,  There  are  about  25 — just  papers. 

The  Chairman.  We  will  take  that  as  an  exhibit." 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  the  chroiiological  statement  which  you  gave 
to  the  committee? 

Mr.  Warner,  It  is,  to  one  degree  or  another.  And  I  have  a  copy 
of  the  chronological  statement,  too.  I  will  give  you  another  one, 
if  you  want, 

Mr,  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  But  this  tells  the  story  of  Russia's  distress,  Russia 
getting  beaten. 

The  Chairman,  We  will  be  glad  to  receive  those  as  an  exhibit. 

Go  ahead  with  the  questioning,  Mr,  Stripling, 

]\Ir,  Stripling.  Now,  Howard  Koch  wrote  the  script  for  Missior 
to  Moscow  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes ;  he  did. 

Mr.  Stripling,  Was  Howard  Koch  one  of  those  writers  whom  you 
.subsequently  dismissed? 

Mr,  Warner.  Let  us  get  it  correct,  I  never  dismissed  anyone  for 
any  activity.     His  contract  expired  and  we  didn't  renew  his  contract. 

Mr,  Stripling.  You  haven't  employed  him  since? 

Mr,  Warner,  We  didn't  make  a  new  deal  with  him, 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  when  the  picture  Mission  to  Moscow  was 
made,  were  you  aware  that  there  were  certain  historical  events 
which  were  erroneously  portrayed  in  the  picture? 

Mr,  Warner.  I  stated  the  only  historical  events  that  I  know,  by 
claim  of  many  people — the  press  and  public,  in  general — were  the 
trials  of  the  purge,  or  whatever  they  called  it  at  the  time  in  the  book, 
which  was  condensed. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner 

Mr.'  Warner.  I  told  you,  I  don't  know  if  it  Avas  all  correct  or  not. 

Mr,  Stripling,   Yes, 

Mr.  Warner,   Mr,  Davies  was 

Mr,  Stripling,  The  ])oint  is  this,  Mr,  Warner,  that  here  was  a 
picture  which  was  produced  and  shown  to  the  American  people,  and 
it  was  shown  in  other  countries,  I  presume,  was  it  not? 


'  See  appendix,  p.  523,  for  exhibit  8. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  37 

Mr.  Warnkr.  I  tliink  it  was  shown  in  England  and  several  other 
countries. 

Mr.  Stripling.  It  was  also  shown  in  Moscow,  to  Mr.  Stalin  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  In  Moscow  and  to  Stalin ;  yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Here  is  a  picture,  however,  which  portrayed  Russia 
and  the  Government  of  Russia  in  an  entirely  different  light  from  what 
it  actually  was? 

Mr.  Warner.  1  don't  know  if  you  can  prove  it,  or  that  I  can  prove 
that  it  was. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  would  like  to  read  one  quotation.  I  have  here, 
Mr.  Chairman,  a  book  entitled  "The  Curtain  Rises,"  by  Quentin 
Reynolds 

Air.  Warner.  What  year  was  that  published  in  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.   Copyrighted  in  1944. 

Mr.  Warner.  Well,  I  had  nothing  to  do  with  Russia  in  1944.  I 
want  no  part  of  it.  I  am  not  interested — unless  you  want  to  put  it  in 
the  record — in  what  happened  then.  That  book  ended  in  1937,  when 
ex-Ambassador  Davies  returned  here. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mi'.  Reynolds  qualifies  himself  as  being  a  Moscow 
correspondent. 

Mr.  Warner.  He  wasn't  there  in  1937. 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute,  Mr.  Warner.  Let  Mr.  Stripling 
continue. 

Mr.  Stripling.  On  page  80,  he  says  [reading]  : 

June  8:  Joseph  E.  Davies  left  today  after  a  2-week  visit  wliich  has  left  us 
bewildered.  Mr.  Davies  said  that  he  had  come  mei-ely  to  deliver  a  letter  to 
Stalin.  Although  he  didn't  say  what  the  letter  contained,  we  are  all  convinced 
that  it  was  a  suggestion  from  President  Roosevelt,  that  he,  Stalin,  and  Churchill 
meet.  What  bewilders  us  (and  we  are  sure  bewilders  Stalin)  is  the  fact 
that  the  President  has  sent  Mr.  Davies  to  deliver  the  letter.  Our  Embassy  is 
just  across  the  street  from  the  Kremlin  and  Ambassador  Standley  is  never  too 
busy  to  walk  over  to  the  Kremlin  with  a  letter. 

Ihere  was  a  distinct  Hollywood  tinge  to  the  Davies  visit.  The  huge  DC-4 
whi(h  brought  Davies  to  Moscow  must  weigh  about  56,0C0  pounds.  It  had  a 
crack  crew  of  nine  men.  Mr.  Davies  brought  his  nephew  witli  him  to  act  as 
his  secretary  (his  nephew  is  Lieutenant  Stamm,  a  naval  officer).  Mr.  Davies 
brought  his  former  valet  with  him  to  supervise  the  preparation  of  his  food  (his 
former  valet  is  now  a  corporal  in  the  United  States  Army).  Mr.  Davies  brought 
his  personal  physician  with  him,  a  necessary  precaution  because  Mr.  Davies  is 
not  in  good  health.  We  all  admired  the  courage  of  Mr.  Davies  in  undertaking 
a  very  difficult  16.000-mile  trip  by  air.  No  one  here  questi<ms  his  need  of  a 
secretary,  a  valet,  and  a  physician.  But  everyone  in  journalistic  and  diplo- 
matic circles  here  questions  the  necessity  of  such  a  formidable  entourage  to 
deliver  2  ounces  of  mail. 

Maxim  Litvinov  arrived  a  day  or  so  after  Mr.  Davies,  and  latvinov  brought 
a  print  of  the  Warner  r>ros.  picture.  Mission  to  Moscow,  with  him.  Stalin 
tendered  a  dinner  to  Mr.  Davies  at  the  Kremlin  a  few  days  after  his  arrival.  It 
was  a  typical  Kremlin  show  reserved  for  visiting  big  sliots  with  the  usual  20 
or  so  courses  and  30  or  so  toasts.  The  press,  of  course,  is  never  permitted 
to  breathe  the  rarified  air  of  Kremlin  dinners,  but  our  friends  in  the  various 
embassies  always  give  us  accurate  reports  of  sucli  dinners.  To  us  the  real  big 
news  of  the  dinner  was  the  fact  that  Nikolai  Palgunov  attended.  That  meant 
that  he  was  still  in  high  favor.  We  had  been  hi>ping  that  liis  efficiency  and 
poor  judgment  would  by  now  have  percolated  up  to  the  sacro.sanct  presence  of 
Vishinsky  or  Moloiov  and  that  he  might  be  on  his  way  out.  The  fact  that  he 
was  at  the  dinner  meant  that  he  was  still  the  white-haired  boy  in  the  press 
department  of  the  foreign  office,  which  is  the  pressing  news  for  us.  The  other 
news  was  that  the  film,  Mission  to  Moscow,  was  shown  in  Stalin's  private  pro- 
jection room  after  the  dinner.     Some  of  the  British  and  Americans  who  have 


38  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

been  here  for  many,  many  years,  and  who  re;illy  know  Russia,  told  us  that 
Stalin  gave  a  magnificent  performance  during  the  showing  of  the  picture. 

"Walter  Huston  was  fine,"  a  British  member  of  the  diplomatic  corps  told  us, 
"but  he  couldn't  compare  with  Stalin.  Do  you  know  that  Stalin  kept  a  straight 
face  througliout  the  showing?    He  didn't  laugh  once." 

A  few  days  later  the  film  was  sliown  at  our  embassy  at  one  of  the  usual 
Saturday  afternoon  shows.  It  was  a  beautiful  technical  job  and  the  perform- 
ances of  the  character  actors  who  figured  in  the  trial  scenes  were  especially 
magnificent.  But  the  film  portrayed  a  Russia  that  none  of  us  had  ever  seen. 
This  would  have  been  all  right  except  that  the  picture  purported  to  be  factual 
and  the  Russia  shown  in  the  film  had  as  much  relation  to  the  Russia  we  all 
know  as  Shangri-la  would  have  to  the  real  Tibet. 

Correspondents  like  Henry  Shapiro,  Jean  Champenois,  and  Alfred  Cholerton 
who  had  been  in  Moscow  for  many  years  were  bewildered.  The  film  had  tele- 
scoped two  purge  trials  into  one  and  had  not  presented  them  with  any  degree 
of  accuracy;  no  fault,  of  course,  in  a  picture  which  did  not  claim  to  be  factual. 
But  this  picture  did.  We  all  had  copies  (in  English)  of  the  testimony  given 
at  the  trials  and  it  varied  considerably  from  what  was  shown  on  the  sci-een. 
In  the  actual  trials  Radek's  had  been  impassioned  and  brilliant  and  Bukharin's 
vituperative  come-backs  at  Prosecutor  Vishinsky's  expense  masterpieces  of  in- 
vective. The  Warner  Bros.'  or  Davies'  version  differed  considerably.  In  the 
film  Radek  is  condemned  to  death.  Actually  he  was  sentenced  to  10  years' 
imprisonment. 

The  veteian  diplomats  were  also  astounded  at  the  treatment  given  Lord 
Chislen  in  the  picture.  Chislen  was  British  Ambassador  to  Russia  during  Mr. 
Davies'  tenure  of  the  American  ambassadorship.  In  the  film  he  was  made  out 
to  be  a  half-wit.  Veteran  embassy  officials  and  correspondents  couldn't  under- 
stand that  at  all. 

"Litvinov  once  told  me  during  those  days,"  a  correspondent  said,  "that  there 
were  only  two  foreign  diplomats  in  Moscow  he  had  any  respect  for.  They  were 
Chislen  and  the  German  Ambassador  Von  Schulenberg." 

We  were  all  frankly  embarrassed  by  the  picture.  I  was  especially  amazed 
because  I  know  the  Warner  Bros,  and  their  brilliant  staff  that  so  faithfully 
mirrored  the  careers  of  men  like  Dr.  Erlich,  Pasteur,  Zola,  and  others  whom  they 
made  sub.iects  of  pictures.  It  was  hard  to  believe  that  they  had  made  this 
factually  incorrect  film.  It  would  have  been  so  easy  for  Warner  Bros,  to  have 
called  in  any  correspondent  who  had  spent  some  time  in  Russia  to  check  up 
on  factual  details.  If  the  purpose  of  the  picture  was  to  improve  relations  be- 
tween America  and  Russia  it  was  completely  defeated  by  the  obvious  inaccur- 
acies shown  on  the  screen.  It  was  such  a  pity  that  no  one  with  any  knowledge 
of  Russia  was  called  in  to  advise  on  the  story.  It  could  have  been  a  great 
picture  and  an  honest  one. 

I  met  one  of  the  officials  of  Vox  the  day  after  the  picture  was  shown  to  us. 
Vox  passes  on  all  foreign  pictures  before  they  are  shown  in  Russia.  I  asked 
him  if  Mission  to  Moscow  would  be  released  to  the  public. 

"Well,"  he  hesitated,  "we'd  like  to  release  it  but,  of  course,"  he  added  in  perfect 
seriousness,  "we  have  to  cvit  a  great  deal  of  the  Russian  parts  out  of  it." 

Have  yoii  ever  seen  that  statement  which  appeared  in  Reynolds' 
book? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  it  is  the  first  time  I  ever  knew  that  Mr.  Reynolds 
had  been  in  Russia  or  wrote  a  book,  and  if  he  did  it  is  his  own  personal 
opinion.  I  have  nothing  to  say  other  than  Reynolds  speaks  of  1944. 
Our  picture,  under  the  guidance  of  Mr.  Joseph  E.  Davies,  speaks  up 
to  and  including  his  leaving  of  the  Embassy  in  Russia  in  1937.  Again, 
I  have  little  or  nothing  to  comment.  I  know  nothing  about  it,  other 
than  what  you  have  just  read. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Well,  is  it  your  opinion  now,  Mr,  Warner,  that 
Mission  to  Moscow  was  a  factually  correct  picture,  and  you  made  it 
as  such  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  can't  remember. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  consider  it  a  propaganda  picture? 

Mr.  Warner.  A  propaganda  picture 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  39 

Mr.  Warner.  In  what  sense? 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  the  sense  that  it  portrayed  Russia  and  com- 
munism in  an  entirely  different  light  from  what  it  actually  was  ? 

Mr.  Warnp:r.  I  am  on  record  about  40  times  or  more  that  I  have 
never  been  in  Russia.  I  don't  know  what  Russia  was  like  in  1937  or 
1944  or  1947,  so  how  can  I  tell  you  if  it  was  right  or  w^rong? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Don't  you  think  you  were  on  dangerous  ground  to 
produce  as  a  factually  correct  picture  one  which  portrayed  Russia 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  we  were  not  on  dangerous  ground  in  1942,  when 
we  produced  it.     There  was  a  war  on.     The  world  was  at  stake. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words 

Mr.  Warner.  We  made  the  film  to  aid  in  the  war  effort,  which  I 
believe  I  have  already  stated. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Whether  it  was  true  or  not? 

Mr.  Warner.  As  far  as  I  was  concerned,  I  considered  it  true  to  the 
extent  as  written  in  INIr.  Davies'  book. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Well,  do  you  suppose  that  your  picture  influenced 
the  people  who  saw  it  in  this  country,  the  millions  of  people  who  saw 
it  in  this  country? 

Mr.  Warner.  In  my  opinion,  I  can't  see  how  it  would  influence  any- 
one. We  were  in  war  and  when  you  are  in  a  fight  you  don't  ask  who 
the  fellow  is  who  is  helping  you. 

]Mr.  Stripling.  Well,  due  to  the  present  conditions  in  the  interna- 
tional situation,  don't  3^011  think  it  was  rather  dangerous  to  write  about 
such  a  disillusionment  as  was  sought  in  that  picture? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  can't  understand  why  you  ask  me  that  question,  as 
to  the  present  conditions.  How  did  I,  you,  or  anyone  else  know  in 
1942  what  the  conditions  were  going  to  be  in  1947.  I  stated  in  my 
testimony  our  reason  for  making  the  picture,  which  was  to  aid  the  war 
effort — anticipating  what  would  happen. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  don't  see  that  that  is  aiding  the  war  effort,  Mr. 
Warner — with  the  cooperation  of  Mr.  Davies  or  with  the  approval  of 
the  Government —  to  make  a  picture  which  is  a  fraud  in  fact. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  want  to  correct  you,  very  vehemently.  There  was 
no  cooperation  of  the  Government. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  stated  there  was. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  never  stated  the  Government  cooperated  in  the 
making  of  it.     If  t  did,  I  stand  corrected.     And  I  know  I  didn't. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  want  me  to  read  that  part,  Mr.  Chairman? 

The  Chairman.  No;  I  think  we  have  gone  into  this  Mission  to 
Moscow  at  some  length. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  like  to  go  into  it  at  great  length,  in  order 
to  make  the  Warner  Bros.'  position  to  the  American  public  clear,  as 
to  why  we  made  the  film.  You  couldn't  be  more  courageous,  to  help 
the  war  effort,  than  we.  Certainly  there  are  inaccuracies  in  every- 
thing. I  have  seen  a  million  books — using  a  big  term — and  there  have 
been  inaccuracies  in  the  text.  There  can  be  inaccuracies  in  anything, 
especially  in  a  creative  art.     As  I  said,  we  condensed  the  trials 

The  Chairman.  We  only  have  5  minutes  this  morning.  Can  w^e 
finish  wnth  Mr.  Warner  this  morning? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 
If  you  would  like  some  qualified  reviewer  who  has  seen  the  picture  to 
give  the  committee 


40  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

The  Chairman.  That  ma}-  come  at  a  later  date. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  ask  that  the  complete  testimony  of  Mr.  Warner 
[before  the  sulwonnnittee  on  Un-  American  Activities  on  May  15,  1947, 
Iieard  in  Los  Angeles,  Calif.]  be  included  in  the  record  at  this  point. 

The  Chairman.  So  ordered. 

(The  testimony  of  ]SIr.  Jack  L.  Warner  is  as  follows :) 

Testimony  of  Jack  L.  Wakxki: 

(The  witness  was  first  duly  sworu.) 

Mr.  Thoma.s.  Mr.  Stripling,  you  may  take  the  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Warner,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and  present  address, 
please? 

Mr.  Warner.  My  name  is  Jack  L.  Warner.  Do  you  want  my  business  or  home 
address? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Your  business  address. 

Mr.  Warner.  Warner  Bros.  Studio,  Burbank,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Warner? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  was  born  in  London,  Ontario,  Canada. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  vice  president  of  Warner  Bros.  Pictures,  Inc.,  and  I  am  in 
charge  of  production  of  films  at  our  studios. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  Since  1912.  It  was  about  1912.  I  went  to  San  Francisco  and 
came  here  in  1912. 

Mr.  Stripling.  This  is  a  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  Un-Aiuerican  Activi- 
ties of  the  United  States  House  of  Representatives.  It  is  sitting  here  in  Los 
Angeles  to  receive  any  testimony,  evidence,  or  opinion  concerning  Communist 
influences  or  infiltration  into  the  motion-picture  industry.  The  committee  in 
Washington  has  received  during  the  past  4  months  many  requests  to  investigate 
Communist"  activities.  The  subcommittee  is  here  for  the  purpose  of  determining 
whether  or  not  these  allegations  deserve  or  require  a  full-scale  investigation. 
As  a  motion-picture  executive,  you  have  been  invited  here  by  the  subcommittee 
to  give  them  the  benefit  of  your  views  or  any  information  you  might  have  rehiting 
to  this  subject.  You  can  either  give  a  general  statement  if  you  like,  or  if  you  prefer 
we  will  ask  you  questions. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  think  I  would  prefer  questions. 

Mr.  P.  Blayney  IMatthews.  Do  you  want  to  read  that  statement? 

Mr.  Warner.  At  this  point  I  have  a  statement  that  I  have  given  to  the  press 
and  it  was  run  virtually  verbatim,  of  my  views,  my  brother's,  or  the  company's, 
being  the  views  as  I  see  them  of  the  motion-picture  industry. 

Mr.  Thomas.  When  was  that  statement  given  to  the  press? 

Mr.  Matthews.  April  21. 

Mr.  Warner.  Just  a  couple  of  weeks  ago. 

Mr.  Thomas.  How  long  a  statement  is  it? 

Mr.  Warner.  It  is  very  short. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  can  go  ahead  and  read  it. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  will  leave  it  with  the  reporter.  This  statement  was  released  for 
the  press  Monday,  April  21,  1947,  announcing  production  of  the  picture  Up  Until 
Now. 

Backslid  Americans,  as  well  as  outside  enemies  of  our  free  institutions,  will 
be  exposed  in  this  story  of  a  Boston  family.  Here  at  Warner  Bros,  we  have  no 
room  for  backslid  Americans  and  wishy-washy  concepts  of  Americanism.  We 
believe  that  our  films  must  reflect  positive  Americanism  founded  on  the  funda- 
mental principles  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  our  Constitution,  and  our 
Bill  of  Rights. 

Up  Until  Now  will  not  be  a  "middle  of  the  road"  picture  about  democracy.  We 
do  not  believe  democracy  has  middle  lanes,  left  detours,  or  right  alleys.  The 
great  highway  of  American  liberty  is  sufficiently  broad  and  straight  for  all  to 
travel  in  peace,  prosperity,  and  happiness. 

Up  Until  Now  is  but  another  chapter  in  our  war  against  threats  to  American 
democracy.  It  is  not  the  opening  gun  by  40  years.  It  will  not  be  a  single  bar- 
rage. We  are  working  on  other  topical  stories  to  combat  any  insidious  influ- 
ence that  threatens  our  country.  We  will  shoot  them  as  rapidly  as  they  are 
ready  for  production. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  41 

From  the  cliiy  it  was  founded  under  the  same  management  that  now  exists, 
Warner  Bros,  has  been  wholly  dedicated  to  the  system  of  government  that  has 
made  the  American  way  of  life  a  shining  example  to  peoples  throughout  the 
world. 

We  have  been  aggressive  in  our  defense  of  that  way  of  life  because  we  feel 
we  must  crusade  for  the  things  in  which  Americans  believe.  We  are  happy  that 
other  motion-picture  producers  are  joining  in  the  aggressive  course  Warner 
Bros,  has  pioneered,  and  we  hope  still  others  will  follow.  We  cannot  combat 
the  enemies  of  freedom  by  closing  our  eyes,  shutting  our  ears,  aud  sealing  our 
mouths.  It's  better  to  fight  with  words,  pictures,  and  ballots  than  with  guns, 
atomic  bombs,  and  poison  gas.     American  needs  awakening. 

The  backsliders,  the  in-betweeners,  and  the  straddlers  are  too  content  to  drift 
with  the  dangerous  tides  the  subvei-sive  elements  are  stirring.  Aud  too  many 
sound-to-the-core  Americans  are  thoughtlessly  ignoring  those  tides.  We've  got 
to  jar  ourselves  into  alert  awareness  of  what  is  going  on. 

This  company  has  endeavored  with  all  the  means  at  its  disposal  to  keep 
America  alert  against  the  loss  of  liberties  which,  if  lost,  must  be  redeemed  in 
blood.  Through  topical  entertainment  features  and  short  subjects  we  have  retold 
the  lessons  so  simply  and  clearly  expounded  in  the  three  great  basic  documents 
of  our  Government.  Through  the  same  media,  we  have  warned  of  dangers 
ahead. 

One  of  our  first  major  feature  pictui'es,  My  Four  Years  in  Germany,  based  on 
the  experiences  of  former  Ambassador  James  Gerard,  was  inspired  by  the  dangers 
facing  our  Nation  in  World  War  I.  A  short  generation  later  we  were  first  to 
warn  of  another  and  greater  peril  in  Confessions  of  a  Natzi  Spy. 

During  the  tragically  brief  interim  between  our  two  World  Wars  we  made  the 
short  historical  films  based  on  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  the  Constitution, 
and  the  Bill  of  Rights.  Our  feature  films  before  and  during  World  War  II  in- 
cluded, among  many  others,  the  inspiring  life  stories  of  such  great  Americans 
as  Sgt.  Alvin  York,  Knute  Rockne,  Mark  Twain,  and  George  M.  Cohan.  At  the 
same  time  we  were  filming  I  Am  a  Fugitive  From  a  Chain  Gang,  Black  Fury, 
Black  Legion,  and  other  pictures  which  exposed  various  evils  threatening  the 
American  way  of  life. 

During  the  war  period  Warner  Bros,  film  production  was  dedicated  to  the  cause 
of  Allie<l  victory.  With  the  conflict  ended,  we  turned  to  the  urgent  task  of 
pi'eserving  the  peace,  which  to  our  wa.y  of  thinking  means  preserving  the  Gov- 
ernment of  the  United  States  and  the  American  way  of  life.  Our  academy-win- 
ning documentary  Hitler  Lives  was  the  first  postwar  picture  of  perils  ahead, 
using  the  most  flagrant  example  of  what  happens  to  an  inert  people  as  warning 
of  what  can  happen  again. 

I  cite  that  record  in  sketchy  outline  not  alone  as  a  matter  of  pride  but  as  a 
testimony  of  the  earnestness  of  the  course  Warner  Bros,  will  continue  to  pursue. 

We  never  have  used  kid  gloves  or  appeasement  or  middle-of-the-road  tactics 
in  dealing  with  American  problems. 

Mr.  Stripi.ixg.  Mr.  W^arner,  since  yoii  have  been  in  Hollywood  has  there  ever 
been  a  period  during  which  you  considered  that  the  Communists  had  infiltrated 
into  your  studio? 

^Ir.  Wakxer.  Yes.     Do  you  mean  by  huge  numbers  or  what? 

Mr.  Stripiing.  In  any  degree. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes;  there  has  been  a  period. 

Mr.   SriiiPMNG.  When  was  that? 

Mr.  Warxek.  Chiefly  I  would  say  starting  in  about  1936  or  1937.  That  is  the 
first  time  I  started  to  notice  that  type  of  writing  coming  into  our  scenarios.  It 
is  being  put  into  scripts  to  this  day  in  one  form  or  another. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  your  studio? 

Mr.  Warner.  In  our  studio  and  every  studio:  yes.  At  present  I  say  there  is 
none  of  it  in  ours.  No  one  in  our  studio  is  working,  to  my  knowledge,  that  is  a 
member  of  any  party — Communist  or  Fascist.  On  the  other  hand,  I  would  call 
tliem  good  Amei'ican  men. 

Mr.  Stripiing.  Is  that  due  to  an  effort  on  the  part  of  the  studio  management 
to  inirge  these  peo])le  from  the  studio? 

Mr.  Warner.  Absolutely.  I  wouldn't  know  about  "purge."  That  is  a  tough 
word.     If  you  don't  mind  my  saying  it. 

Mr.  Sn:lpiiNG.  No. 

Mr.  Warner.  Becau.se  that  is  the  thing  they  use  every  time  we  let  one  go, 
that  here  comes  a  brown  shii-t  or  storm  trooper. 


42  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  StbipiJng.  How  were  tliey  removed?  We  will  use  that  word.  You  don't 
choose  to  use  the  word  "pnrse."  How  were  y(»u  successful  in  elimiuating  these 
influences  from  your  studio? 

Mr.  Waknek.  By  dismissing  them,  if  they  were  engaged  by  a  picture.  There 
are  several  methods  of  hiring  writers.  I  am  referring  to  writers  only  at  this 
time. 

Mr.  Stkipijno.  Is  tluit  the  principal  medium,  the  writers,  through  which  the 
Communists  have  sought  to  inject  their  Communist  propaganda  into  tilms? 

Mr.  Warnkr.  Ye.s;  I  would  say  95  percent. 

Mr.  Stkipi.ing.  Ninety-five  percent  is  through  the  writers? 

Mr.  Wabxkr.  This  is  only  my  own  per.scmal  opinion. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  say  at  the  present  time  to  your  knowledge  there  are  no 
Communist  writers  in  your  studio? 

Mr.  WARNER.  That  is  correct,  sir.  I  did  not  finish  telling  you  how  we  reloa.sed 
them  or  got  rid  of  them. 

Mr.  STRIPT.ING.  Go  right  ahead. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  thinlc  it  is  worth  finishing.  Anyone  whom  I  thought  was  a 
Communist,  or  read  in  the  papers  that  he  was,  was  dismissed  at  the  expiration  of 
his  contract.  If  it  was  for  an  individual  picture  and  we  had  no  ohligations,  we 
could  let  him  go.  In  one  fellow's  case  I  had  to  hold  onto  him  because  we  were 
dropping  them  too  rapidly,  and  it  was  too  apparent.  So  we  held  onto  him.  I 
held  him  until  the  last  2  weeks,  and  I  could  not  stand  him  any  longer.  Ho  was 
contributing  nothing  Init  holding  meetings  in  the  offices. 

Mr.  Stmplixg.  What  was  his  name? 

Mr.  Warner.  Kahn — Gordon  Kahn. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Why  did  you  say  it  was  too  apparent? 

Mr.  Warner.  By  letting  them  all  go  at  once,  in  1  day.  When  I  say  "all" 
there  were  only  prabably  a  half  dozen  at  tops.     There  weren't  so  many. 

Mr.  Stripling.  But  they  were  definitely  entrenched  in  your  studio? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  since  gotten  them  out? 

Mr.  AVarner.  Yes.  If  there  is  anyone  else  in  there  I  don't  know  who  he  is. 
There  may  be  some  in  other  places.     Mr.  Matthews  is  checking  up  very  rigidly. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Do  you  want  to  get  the  names  of  the  other  writers? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes.  I  would  like  to  have  those  for  the  record,  either  from 
you  or  Mr.  Matthews. 

Mr.  Warner.  When  I  say  these  people  are  Communists,  as  I  said  before,  it  is 
from  hearsay.      It  was  from  printed  forms  I  read  in  the  Hollywood  Reporter. 

Mr.  Thomas.  But  you  got  enough  information  to  let  them  go? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  could  tell  in  their  writing  and  method  of  presentation  of  screen 
plays. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  mean  not  calling  them  Communists? 

Mr.  Warner.  They  were  un-American. 

Mr.  Stripling.  For  one  reason  or  another  you  objected  to  the  lines  they  were 
attempting  to  put  in  your  scripts? 

IMr.  Warner.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  you  let  these  six  people  go.     Can  you  name  the  six? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes  ;  I  think  I  can.     I  wish  you  would  bear  with  me. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  all  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  have  heard  these  people  stand  around  and  ridicule  and  rib  the 
committee,  y(mr  full  committee :  "They  aren't  looking  for  Fascists ;  they  are  only 
looking  for  Communists.  They  have  the  same  routine — to  belittle  the  other  fellow 
and  scheme  about  it." 

Mr.  Thomas.  If  you  have  any  names  we  w<mld  like  to  have  them. 

Mr.  Warner.  Here  are  the  names  of  people  who  in  my  opinion  wrote  for  the 
screen  and  tried  to  inject  these  ideas,  and  1  personally  removed  them — according 
to  my  best  judgment  or  any  of  my  executives  working  with  me.  Wliether  or  not 
they" are  Communists  T  don't  know,  but  some  of  them  are,  according  to  what  I 
have  read  and  heard. 

The  first  one  is  Alvah  Bessie.  Then  Gordon  Kahn.  He  is  in  charge  of  editing 
the  little  journal  of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild.  He  is  now  down  in  Mexico  trying 
to  write  a  story  about  a  picture  we  were  producing  down  there.  T  gave  instruc- 
tions all  along"  the  line  not  to  have  him  in  there,  but  he  gets  in.  The  day  I  let 
him  go  he  was  right  on  the  plane  for  Mexico.  He  is  writing  a  story  for  Holiday 
magazine,  one  of  the  Curtis  Publishing  Co.'s  magazines.  I  tried  through  the  New 
York  office  to  tell  them  the  fellow  was  "off  the  beam"  and  should  not  accept  his 
material.     I  was  told,  "You  are  not  going  to  interfere  with  the  right  of  free  speech 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  43 

and  freedom  of  the  press."  I  got  the  usual  run-down  of  a  publisher.  That  is 
what  they  told  my  man.  I  tried  to  have  the  story  stopped  for  this  particular 
pajMjr,  but  ho  is  writing  it.  In  fact,  we  were  chastised  for  interfering  with  their 
business,  so  I  got  off  ot  that. 

Guy  Kndore,  Howard  Koch,  King  Lardner,  Jr.,  Emmett  Lavory,  John  Howard 
Lawson,  Albert  Maltz,  Robert  Kosson,  Krwin  Shaw,  Dalton  Trumbo,  Jolm  Wexley. 
You  know  these  names. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  a  very  familiar  list. 

Mr.  Waknkb.  Julius  and  Philip  Epstein,  twins. 

Mr.  Thomas.  WTiat  are  they  doingV 

Mr.  Wakner.  They  are  at  MGM.  I  will  give  you  my  theory  of  what  happened 
to  these  fellows  when  I  finish. 

Mr.  Thomas.  All  right. 

Mr.  Wakner.  Sheridan  Gibney.  Clifford  Odets.     That,  is  all  of  my  list. 

Mr.  SriiirLiNG.  Were  all  of  tlmse  writers  that  you  named  employed  in  your 
studio  at  one  time  or  another? 

Mr.  Wakneu.  Yes;  they  were. 

Mr.  Stkii'lino.  Could  you  give  us  the  names  of  some  of  the  pictures  in  which 
they  injected  their  lines  or  jiropaganda? 

INIr.  Warner.  I  would  rather  correct  that,  if  you  don't  mind. 

]Mr.  Stripling.  All  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  They  endeavor  to  inject  it.  Whatever  I  could  do  about  it — I 
took  it  out. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Tell  us  some  of  the  pictures  in  which  they  endeavor  to  do  that. 

Mr.  Warner.  Do  you  want  tlie  names? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Identify  the  fihns. 

air.  Warner.  Alvah  Bessie,  The  Very  Thought  of  You.  Gordon  Kahn,  Her 
Kind  of  Man.  I  might  inject  there  for  a  moment,  the  majority  of  these  writers, 
some  of  them  wrote  for  as  high  as  6,  8,  or  10  months  and  never  delivered  any- 
thing. What  they  were  doing  was  taking  your  money  and  supposedly  writing 
your  scripts  and  trying  to  get  these  doctrines  into  the  films,  working  for  the 
party,  or  whatever  the  term  is.  The  strange  thing  is  very  few  of  these  fellows 
deliver. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  right? 

Mr.  Warner.  Not  only  in  our  studios,  but  in  any  of  the  studios.  I  can  speak 
authoritatively  on  that.  These  are  the  credits  that  these  people  have.  They  are 
always  in  every  one  of  them.  Howard  Koch,  In  Our  Time.  I  might  explain  how 
some  of  these  stories  come  out.  Sometimes  four  or  five  of  these  writers  contribute. 
These  fellows  contribute  and  three  other  good  writers  are  doing  the  most  of  it, 
but  they  contribute  some  things  and  get  the  screen  credit.  I  should  have  had 
more  information  as  to  who  collaborated  witJi  them.  They  didn't  do  anything 
in  the  western  pictures.  As  far  as  Koch  is  concerned,  he  was  on  20  scripts,  but 
he  never  got  anywhere  because  he  always  started  out  with  big  messages  and  I 
used  to  take  them  out.  This  fellow  was  on  contract  and  I  couldn't  let  him  go. 
He  is  now  working  for  Samuel  Goldwyn.  I  can't  remember  the  name  of  the 
picture  he  is  working  on. 

Ring  Lardner,  Jr.,  was  on  several  pictures.  He  didn't  put  any  me.ssage  in  The 
Kokonio  Kid.  Or  Emmett  Lavery — he  has  no  credits.  We  throw  his  stuff  in  all 
the  way  and  pile  it  up. 

John  Howard  Lawson,  Action  in  the  North  Atlantic. 

Albert  Maltz  in  Pride  of  the  Marines. 

i\lr.  Thomas.  Did  he  get  much  into  Pride  of  the  Marines? 

Mr.  Warner.  No.  In  my  opinion  he  didn't  get  in  anything  because  everything 
they  endeavor  to  write  in,  if  they  photographed  it,  I  cut  it  out.  I  ran  those 
films  myself.  There  is  one  little  thing  where  the  fellow  on  the  train  says,  "My 
name  isn't  Jones,  so  I  can't  get  d  job."  It  was  this  kid  named  Diamond,  a 
Jewish  boy,  in  the  Marines,  a  hero  at  Guadalcanal.  In  fact,  I  had  a  couple  of 
boys  run  tlie  pictures  3  or  4  days  ago  and  I  read  it.  Dr.  John  Leach  said  some- 
thing about  it,  but  tiiere  is  nothing  to  it.    If  there  is  I  don't  know  where  it  is. 

I  have  had  experiences  from  1!)16  or  1!)17.  I  made  My  Four  Years  in  Germany 
and  1  produced  that  in  New  \'ork  right  during  the  First  World  War.  I  can  look 
in  a  mirror  and  .'^ee  three  faces.  You  can  see  anything  you  want  to  see  and  you 
can  write  anything  you  want  to,  but  there  is  nothing  in  my  pictures  that  I  caimot 
qualify  being  there,  with  the  exception  that  it  might  have  gotten  by  me  because 
you  can't  be  superliuniaiL  Some  of  these  lines  have  inuendos  and  double  mean- 
ings and  things  like  that,  and  you  have  to  take  8  or  10  Harvard  law  courses  to 
find  out  what  they  mean. 


44  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  They  are  very  subtle. 

Mr.  Warnkr.  Exceedingly  so.  Rosson — I  gave  him  a  creflit  for  Tliey  Won't 
Forget,  and  Dust  Be  My  Destiny. 

Erwiii  Shaw,  The  Hard  Way.. 

Dalton  Truniho  worked  in  our  place  in  l!)^")  and  IJW*.  He  had  credit  for 
The  Kid  From  Kokomo,  and  so  has  Ring  Lardner,  Jr.  It  gives  you  an  idea; 
they  work  in  pairs.  All  he  is  credited  with  is  The  Road  Gang.  I  can't  remember 
that.     That  was  12  years  ago. 

John  Wexley  had  a  picture  called  City  for  Conquest  in  1040.  Some  of  these 
pictures  I  have  called  off  were  produced  during  the  war.  Naturally,  Ihey  were 
pictures  aimed  at  aiding  the  war  effort.  They  were  realistic.  Take  Action  in 
the  North  Atlantic,  which  was  produced  for  the  merchant  marine  because  at  the 
tinx'  tliey  could  not  get  proper  enlistments  and  all  that.  I  made  this  tilm.  We 
did  not  pull  any  punches.  It  was  a  good,  hard  film  of  the  real  life  of  the 
merchant  marine.     I  don't  know  whether  you  saw  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  Naturally,  John  Howard  Lawson  tried  to  swing  a  lot  of  thing.s  in 
there,  but  to  my  knowledge  there  wasn't  anything. 

Mr.  STKIPLI^G.  John  Howard  Lawson  did  try  to  put  stuff  in? 

Mr.  Warneu.  Y^es  ;  I  would  say  he  did  in  one  form  or  another. 

Mr.  Sir  pling.  All  right ;  are  you  through  with  the  listV 

Mr.  Warnbk.  No.  The  Epstein  brothers  did  very  good  work  at  one  time,  but 
they  fell  off. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  they  do  any  part  of  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  WARNHi.  Their  name  is  not  on  here  as  credit  for  that. 

Mr.  Stripping.  Who  did  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  Howard  Koch,  lfl43. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  they  do  any  part  of  Edge  of  Darkness? 

Mr.  WarneKi.  No.  Just  a  moment,  please.  Robert  Rosson  did  that  in  1042. 
That  was  a  war  subject,  too. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  do  North  Star,  did  you? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  :  we  did  not. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  do  Song  of  Russia? 

Mr.  Waunkr  \o  ;  we  did  not.  The  Epstein  brothers  worked  on  a  picture 
called  Animal  King(h>m.  As  I  recall,  that  was  aimed  at  the  capitalistic  system — 
not  exactly,  but  the  rich  man  is  always  the  villain.  Of  course  those  fellows  getting 
two  or  three  thousand  dollars  a  week  aren't  rich  men.  I  don't  know  what  you 
would  call  theni>.     Roth  of  those  fellows  work  together.     They  are  never  separated. 

Tl.e  rest  of  them  are  a  lot  of  comedies:  Yankee  Doodle  Dandy,  The  Man  Who 
Came  to  Dinner,  Arsenic  and  Old  Lace,  Strawberry  lilonde,  Four  Mothers — a;l 
of  those  pictures  are  comedies  and  there  is  no  taint  of  conuniniism  in  them. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Off  the  record. 

Mr.  Warner.   I  would  like  to  put  in  the  record  a  few  more  names. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  Clifford  Odets  in  Humoresque.  You  .see,  tiiis  was  way  ba<'k  in 
in.37— 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  about  Humoresque;  isn't  that  a  i-ecent  release? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes.  That  was  written  by  Clit'ford  Odets.  It  was  a  story  which 
we  modernized  from  llie  old  Fannie  Hurst  novel.  In  that  picture  there  was  no 
con  nnuiistic  jjropaganda.  I  have  even  written  tlie  words  down  here.  It  is  the 
old  story.  There  is  one  line  where  the  boy  was  mad.  John  Gariield  played  the 
part  of  the  boy  and  he  was  ma<l  at  John  Crawford  for  romantic  reasons  and  said, 
"Your  father  is  a  banker"  He  was  alluding  to  the  fact  fact  she  was  rich  and 
had  all  of  the  money.  H^  said,  "My  father  lives  over  a  grcK-ery  store"  That  is 
very,  very  subtle,  but  if  you  see  the  tilm  with  those  lines  in  it  you  will  see  the 
reason  for  it.  F.ut  it  is  not  in  the  hhn.  I  eliminated  it  fi-oni  the  hcript.  Some- 
times you  eliminate  these  things  and  they  leave  them  in  because  it  plays  good 
and  every))ody  is  trying  to  be  a  Voltaire.  All  these  writers  and  actors  want  to 
"Voltaire"  about  freedom  of  press  and  lree<lom  of  speech.  I  can  go  on  if  you 
want  me  to. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Go  ahead. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  didn't  get  into  the  record  as  to  their  method  of  getting  certain 
types  of  propaganda  into  the  motion  i)ictures.  AVhen  I  heard  the  word  connunnism 
or  fascism  I  was  under  the  impression  it  was  to  overthrow  the  Government  by 
violence  and  force,  but  as  I  see  it  being  used  in  motion  pictures  they  do  not 
advocate  violence  or  force  at  all.    That  is  my  experience.    But  they  do  advocate 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTHY  45 

the  overthrow  of  our  capitalistic  system,  as  we  call  it.  I  never  got  into  it  until 
the  last  4  or  5  years  when  it  became  apparent  to  me  because  naturally,  as  I  said 
before,  you  heard  flu-  words  "conununism"  and  "fascism."  You  could  see  Musso- 
lini's Fascists  or  Hitler's  Xazis  or  Stalin's  liord(>s,  or  whatever  they  are.  Y(m 
saw  how  they  came  in,  by  revolution  in  Russia,  or  however  these  things  happen. 
P.ut  in  reading:  these  hundreds  of  scripts  which  I  do  read  and  I  buy  p'ays  and 
books  and  novels — it  all  started  to  come  to  me  and  tliat  is  tl)e  thins  I  watcli  for 
most  earnestly.  That  is  iiow  tliey  jiet  in.  If  you  will  watch  the  films  you  will 
find  that  is  what  happens. 

Now.  take  the  pictures  made  durinii'  the  war,  the  pictures  to  aid  the  victory  of 
the  Allies  or  the  United  Nations.  We  have  no  apologies  to  make  for  any  of  those 
films  that  we  made.  They  were  made  by  us  and  we  thought  it  was  tlio  riglit  thing 
to  do  to  aid  the  war  effort,  and  we  never  had  any  rebuffs  from  anyone.  In  fact, 
we  were  asked  to  make  pictures  from  time  to  time  by  different  departments. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  asked  to  make  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  say  we  were  to  a  degree.  Vou  can  put  it  in  that  way 
in  one  form  or  another. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Wlio  asked  you  to  nuike  ^Mission  to  AIoscow'/ 

Mr.  Wau.xf.r.   I  would  say  tlie  former  Ambassador  Davies. 

Mr.  Tiio.MAS.  He  asked  you  to  make  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  WAijNKR.  At  tlie  time  and  lie  recites  why.  I  brouglit  a  small  resume  of  it 
.when  we  entered  into  the  agi'eement.  and  so  forth,  with  the  events  of  the  war 
in  the  early  part  of  1942.     They  are  all  put  in  chronological  order  here. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  Mr.  Davies  come  to  Hollywood  to  see  you  relative  to  the 
making  of  Mission  to  Moscow  or  did  you  confer  with  him  at  any  time  about  it 
in  person 'y 

Mr.  Warner.  I  conferred  with  liim  in  W^•lshington  and  we  made  tlie  deal  in 
the  East,  in  New  Yoi'k  or  Washington,  I  have  forgotten  which.  But  he  did  come 
here  when  the  tilm  was  being  produced  and  he  also  acted  in  an  advisory  capacity 
throughout  the  makirg  of  the  film.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  he  appeared  in  a  slight 
prologue  of  the  picture. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Don't  you  consider  very  frankly  that  the  film  Mission  to  Moscow 
was  in  some  vs-ays  a  misinterpretation  of  the  facts  of  the  existing  conditions? 

Mr.  Warner.  Of  the  time,  you  mean? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Mr.  Warner.  In  1942? 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words,  certain  historical  incidents  which  were  por- 
trayed in  the  film  were  not  true  to  fact? 

Mr.  Warnir.  Well,  all  I  could  go  b.v — I  read  the  novel  and  spoke  to  Mr.  Davies 
on  m;iny,  many  occasions.  I  had  to  take  his  word  that  they  were  the  facts. 
He  had  pulilished  tlie  novel  and  we  were  criticized  severely  b.v  the  press  in,  New 
York  and  elsewhere.  As  I  remember,  it  was  started  up  by  this  Profes.sor  Dewey 
from  Columbia  University.  P'rom  what  I  read  and  heard,  he  was  a  Trotskyite 
and  they  were  the  ones  who  ol'jected  mostly  to  this  tilm  because  of  Lenin  versus 
Trotsk.v 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  Dr.  John  Dewey? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes.  That  is  what  I  read.  He  made  statements  in  the  New 
York  Times  which  were  as  long  as  the  paper  was,  but  as  to  the  actual  facts,  if  they 
weren't  portr.-i.ved  Muthentically — I  never  was  in  Russia  myself  and  I  don't  know 
what  they  were  doing  in  T.M2.  other  than  seeing  the  events  of  the  battles  for 
S'talingr.-id  and  .Moscow,  which  we  all  saw  in  the  films  and  read  about.  But  I 
talked  to  .Mr.  Davies  about  that  after  we  were  criticized,  and  there  is  only  one 
Ihi-ig  that  happiiis  which  is  a  license,  what  we  call  condensation  in  the  making 
of  films.  We  put  the  two  trials  in  one  and  the  two  trials  were  condensed  because 
if  yon  ran  the  two  trials  it  wcmld  go  on  for  20  reels.  I  persoiuilly  did  not  con- 
sider that  fihu  i)ro-Communist  at  the  time. 

.Mr.  Thomas,   .\ow.  it  is  1947.     Do  you  think  it  is  pro-Communist  now? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  I  would  have  to  think  over.  L  "t  me  pause  for  a  minute  and 
ask  you  a  question  or  two,  if  you  don't  mind.  You  mean  by  saying  rliat  the  type 
of  scenes  shown  in  that  film  today  would  that  make  tln^  picture  pro-Ci>nunuiMst, 
is  that  if 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  said  in  1942. 

..Mr.  Warner.   It  was  made  in  J942. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  did  not  believe  it  was  pro-Communist. 

Mr.  W.ABNEB.  No;  we  were  at  war  at  That  time. 

67683—47 4 


46  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Thomas.  Now,  it  is  1947.    Do  .vou  believe  it  is  pro-Communist? 

Mr.  Sntii'LiNG.  Would  you  release  the  film  now,  in  other  words? 

Mr.  Wakner.  No,  we  would  not  release  the  film  now. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Why  not  release  the  film  now? 

Mr.  Warneb.  Because  of  the  way  Russia  is  handling  their  international  affairs 
since  the  ces.sation  of  the  war.  I  consider  in  my  opinion  as  an  American  that  the.y 
are  advocating  communism  throughout  tlie  world  and  I  am  not  in  any  shape, 
manner,  or  form  in  favor  of  anything  like  that.  In  fact,  I  de.spise  and  detest  the 
ver.v  word. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  say  Mr.  Da  vies  got  in  touch  with  you.  He  was  the  first  one  to 
get  in  touch  with  you  about  the  idea  of  producing  this  film,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Warner.  At  the  time  I  can't  remember  if  he  contacted  us,  or  my  brother 
who  was  in  New  York  contacted  Mr.  Davies.  I  can't  say  who  contacted  whom,  but 
I  know  that  we  went  ahead  with  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  any  other  person  in  the  Government  contact  either  you  or 
your  brother  in  connection  with  producing  Mission  to  Moscow? 

Mr.  Warner.  Not  to  my  knowledge,  no. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  about  the  State  Department? 

Mr.  Warner.  You  mean  anyone  in  the  State  Department  that  asked  us  to 
make  it? 

Mr.  STRiPLrNG.  Were  they  consulted  in  any  way  in  this  film,  or  did  they  consult 
with  you? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  am  trying  to  think  hard  who 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  am  being  very  trank,  Mr.  Warner. 

Mr.  Warner.  If  you  will  give  me  a  couple  of  minutes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  will  be  very  frank  with  you.  The  charge  is  often  made  and 
many  statements  have  been  made  to  the  committee  to  the  effect  that  Mission  to 
Moscow  was  made  at  the  request  of  our  Government  as  a  so-called  appea.sement  or 
pap  to  the  Russians  ;  in  other  words,  it  was  produced  at  the  request  of  tlie  Govern- 
ment.   Now,  is  such  a  statement  without  foundation? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  see  what  you  mean.  No,  it  is  not  without  foundation.  That  is 
why  I  am  very  liappy  you  put  it  that  wa,v.  In  order  to  answer  tliat  question  cor- 
rectly, I  would  say  there  were  rumors  and  many  stories  to  tlie  cffc'ct  that  if 
Stalingrad  fell  Stalin  would  again  join  up  with  Hitler  because,  naturally,  the 
way  the  stories  were  that  far  back,  during  the  hardest  days  of  the  war,  from  wiiat 
I  could  get  out  of  it,  is  that  the  authorities  in  Washington  who  were  conducting 
the  war  were  afraid  if  Stalin  would  take  up  with  Hitler  they  would  destroy  ihe 
world,  not  only  continental  Europe  and  Russia,  but  Japan  and  everything  else. 
And  we  know  what  the  scheme  of  things  was,  that  the  Jayis  and  Germans  were  to 
meet  in  India  or  Egypt,  I  forget  just  which. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Do  you  mean  to  say  some  of  the  Government  officials  in  Wash- 
ingti>n  informed  you  that  they  were  fearful  that  Stalin  might  hook  up  with 
Hitler? 

Mr.  Warner.  No  ;  but  that  was  the  tenor  of  things.  It  would  be  pretty  hard  for 
me  to  say  that  someone  told  me  that,  but  that  was  just  the  general  feeling  in 
Washington.     Every  time  I  would  go  there  that  would  be  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Mr.  Stripling  asked  a  question  that  I  don't  think  we  have  had 
an  answer  to  yet. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I>et  me  state  further,  Mr.  Chairman,  it  lias  also  been  charged 
that  this  film  had  the  tacit  approval,  if  not  the  request,  of  the  White  House. 

Mr.  Warner,  was  there  anything  that  occurred  prior  to  the  production  of  this 
film  which  led  you  to  believe  that  the  (Tovernment,  the  Federal  Government,  de- 
sired that  this  film  be  made  as  a  contribution  to  the  war  effort.  In  other  words, 
what  1  want  to  make  clear,  there  is  no  desire  on  the  part  of  the  sul>committee 
to  put  you  or  your  company  on  the  spot  for  making  Mission  to  ^Moscow,  but  if  it 
was  made,  as  in  other  films,  at  the  request  of  the  Government  as  a- so-called 
jiatriotic  duty,  you  would  have  no  other  course  to  follow  and  you  would  natu- 
rall.v  he  expected  to  do  so. 

Mr.  Warner.  The  general  feeling  as  I  found  it  in  Washington  was  a  tre- 
mendous fear  tiuit  Stalin  might  go  back  with  Hitler  because  he  had  done  it 
before. 

Mr.  Thomas.  No.  Wliat  we  want  to  get  at  is  the  reason,  not  the  general 
feelings. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes,  but  I  am  just  going  to  come  back  to  that. 

Mr.  Thomas.  All  right. 

Mr.  Warner.  The  Russians  \^'ere  very  discouraged  and  they  figured  that  the 
United  States  was  not  going  to  back  them  up  with  lend-lease  and  so  on  and  so 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  47 

forth  in  suflScient  quantities  to  beat  Hitler,  which  was  very,  very  important  to 
<ivilization,  and  the  feelins  was  if  a  film  could  be  made— and  I  imagine  other 
things  were  being  done — to  assure  the  Russians  and  Stalin 

Mr.  Thoa[As.  Can't  you  be  more  specific?    You  say  a  feeling  existed. 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes. 

Mr.  Thomas.  We  want  to  know  more  about  the  specific  thing,  something  more 
than  just  a  general  feeling.  We  want  to  know  the  persons  in  the  Government 
who  got  in  touch  with  you  concerning  the  making  of  this  film. 

Mr.  Warner.  Well,  I  don't  think  Mr.  Davies  was  in  the  Government  then. 
He  was  then  ex -Ambassador  to  Russia  and  almost  everything  was  dealt  through 
him. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Did  anyone  in  the  State  Department  get  in  touch  with  you? 

Mr.  WARNEai.  No.  not  directly  in  touch ;  no,  sir. 

^Ir.  Thomas.  Not  directly  in  touch? 

:\Ir.  Warner.  Do  you  mean  did  anyone  in  the  White  House  say  we  should  make 
the  film  for  reasons  along  those  lines? 

Mr.  Thomas.  Directly  or  indirectly. 

Mr.  Warner.  Well,  as  1  understood  at  the  time  tiirough  Mr.  Davies  that  he 
had  contacted  the  White  House  and  for  all  of  the  reasons  I  recited  it  was  good 
for  the  defense  and  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  to  keep  the  Russians  in  there 
fighting  until  the  proper  time  when  the  United  States  and  Britain  could  organize, 
in  other  words,  give  us  time  to  prejiare. 

;\Ir.  Thomas.  Let's  have  the  date  you  started  producing  that  film. 

Mr.  Warner.  We  started  November  9,  1!)42. 

Mr.  Thomas.  And  you  completed  production  when? 

Mr.  Warner.  On  February  2.  1948.     It  took  a  little  under  4  months. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  rather  a  quick  production,  isn't  it? 

Mr.  Warner.  No,  that  was  about  the  usual  length  of  time.  They  are  usually 
8  or  10  weeks. 

Mr.  Stripling.  From  a  commercial  standpoint  the  film  was  not  very  successful, 
was  it? 

Mr.  Warner.  No,  it  was  not  exceptionally  successful.  It  was  not  successful 
to  any  great  degree.     It  did  very  good  at  first. 

^Nlr.  Stripling.  I  mean  from  what.  I  heard.  In  fact,  there  has  been  testimony 
it  was  not  very  successful. 

Mr.  Warner.  No,  I  would  not  call  it  very  successful.  Commercially  it  wasn't 
exceedingly  successful,  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Stkiplin(;.  Mr.  Warner,  there  is  one  question  which  I  think  the  sub- 
committee would  like  to  have  cleared  up  and  I  think  that  you,  as  a  studio 
executive,  could  probably  give  them  some  information  about  it. 

Why  is  it  that  when  you  say  discharge  or  dismiss  a  writer,  when  you  let  them 
go,  another  studio  will  employ  him? 

'Sir.  Warner.  I  was  going  to  say  something  about  that  after  I  recited  some 
of  the  chixuiological  events  of  the  war  in  order  to  confiim  my  feeling  for  the 
reasons  that  the  Government  was  interested  in  the  making  of  the  picture.  This 
is  one  of  the  reasons.  I  am  not  here  to  defend  the  Government  because  that  is 
their  business. 

Mr.  'i'HoMAS.  We  will  be  glad  to  have  it. 

;\Ir.  Warner.  When  the  Germans  wei-e  halted  at  Stalingi-ad,  that  was  one  of 
the  things  Mr.  Davies  tohl  my  brother,  that  it  was  essential  to  keep  the  Rus- 
sians in  there — — 

Mr.  Thomas.  Pitching? 

Mr.  Warner.  Pitching  to  give  our  country  a  chance  to  arm — the  Navy,  the 
Army,  air  power,  aiid  everytliing  else — which  we  were  not  prepared  for  at  the 
time,  and  of  course  history  has  told  the  story. 

(At  this  iKiint  the  chronological  chart  was  copied  into  the  record  as  follows:) 

'•Early  part  of  1.^.'i2  (chronologically) 

"Twenty-six  Allies  signed  war  pact. 

"Manila  fell. 

"Japanese  air  forces  raided  Australia. 

•Russians  weie  defending  Crimea  *  *  *  and  line  between  Moscow  and 
Leningrad. 

"Singapore  fell. 

"Russians  were  de'ending  Crimea  *  *  *  and  line  between  Moscow  and  a 
second  front  to  relieve  pressnre. 


48  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

"Thirteen  Allied  warships  lost  oft"  Java. 

"Java  fell. 

"Bataan  fell. 

"General  .Marshall  and  Harry  Hopkins  go  to  I»ndon  to  discuss  possibilities  of 
second  front. 

"Arrangements  completed  for  getting  Unitetl  States  supplies  to  Russia,  which 
continues  on  offensive. 

"Corregidor  fell. 

"Battle  of  Coral   Sea. 

"Germans  regain  offensive  in  Russia. 

"Burma  fell. 

"Germans  began  move  across  Africa  toward  Cairo. 

"Arnold  in  Britain  to  arrange  American  bombers  to  join  British  as  most 
practical  method  of  helping  Russians.  Marshall  promisetl  second  front  as 
soon  as  feasible. 

Starting  June  l9/,2  {chronolo(fic4iny ) 

"Japanese  bombed  Dutch  Harbor  and  Midway. 

"Battle  Midway. 

"Germans  continue  offensive  deeper  into  Russia. 

"United   States-Britain-Russia   signed  20-year  mutual   assistance  pact. 

"United  States  agreed  on  second  front  this  year. 

"United  States  completed  lend-lease  agreement  for  Russia. 

"Nazis  rolled  ahead  in  Africa ;  captured  Tobruk  and  crossed  Egyptian  border. 

"Russians  lost  Sevastopol. 

"British  attacked  at  El  Alamein. 

"Germans  drive  toward  Stalingrad  in  August. 

"Russians    abandon  Krasnodar. 

"Nazis  drive  wedge  into  Stalingrad  line  *  *  *  cross  Kerch  Strait 
*  *  *  reach  Volga,  south  of  Stalingrad  *  *  *  capture  Novorassisk.  Wil- 
kie  goes  to  Russia  to  see  Stalin ;  aslted  for  immediate  second  front. 

"Stalin  asked  Allied  aid  "on  time." 

"Stalingrad  counteroffensive  began  in  November. 

"Russian  offensive  started  all  along  the  line  in  December." 

Mr.  Stripling.  If  you  liad  not  been  approached  by  Mr.  Davies  or  by  anyone 
in  the  Government  indirectly  it  would  have  been  very  likely  that  you  would 
not  have  filmed  Mission  to  Moscow. 

Mr.  Warner.  No ;  we  would  not. 

Mr.  Stiupling.  I  think  the  writers  are  the  most  important  people  in  this 
investigation.     I  believe  you  mentioned  Koch. 

Mr.   WaeneR.  Howard  Koch. 

]\Ir.  Stripling.  That  you  dismissed  him  and  he  was  later  picked  up  by  Samuel 
Goldwyn. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  understand  he  is  now  working  for  him. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Why,  in  your  opinion,  did  Mr.  Goldwyn,  or,  say,  any  other 
studio — why  should  they  pick  up  a  writer  like  that? 

Mr.  Warnp:k.  Here  is  where  I  think  I  can  be  of  immeasureable  good,  in  my 
next  statement,  aside  from  everything  else  I  am  trying  to  do  for  the  good  of 
my  country.  I  have  talked  to  other  producers  as  an  American  and  not  in 
the  line  of"  my  duty  of  doing  business  or  running  a  studio  at  all.  Just  why 
these  men  engage  these  pet)ple  when  they  know  their  tendencies,  especially  the 
ones  who  are  actually  proven  Communists,  and  why  they  have  carried  them  all 
these  years.  I  even  went  so  far  as  to  tell  them :  If  you  go  through  the  records 
of  the  scripts  that  the  men  have  been  assigned  to,  you  will  find  that  very  few 
of  their  works  have  been  produced.  In  each  case,  I  either  got  a  blank  stare  in 
return  or  "If  we  didn't  hire  them,  someone  else  would."  That  is  about  as 
plain  as  I  can  put  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Isn't  that  a  very  unhealthy  situati(m  for  the  industry? 

Mr.  W.vRNER.  Yes ;  it  is  exceedingly  unhealthy.  And  I  think  in  my  opinion 
it  is  very  un-American  if  everything  that  can  be  proven  against  these  people  is- 
proven.  Naturally,  these  commies  and  lefties  and  what  not,  the  party-line  fol- 
lowers— no  one  has  proven  anything  against  them  in  print  other  than  being; 
investigated. 

Mr.  Stripling.  But  you  do  know  they  try  to  inject  these  lines  info  your  scripts, 
as  you  found  out. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  personally  know  that,  and  I  think  everybody  else  knows  they 
Iry  to  do  it  in  the  studios.  No  one  is  cheating  anyone.  They  do  it  in  a  huraoroii-s 
vein. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  49 

Mr.  Thomas.  Not  only  Iminorous. 

Mr.  Warnek.  Well,  strike  the  word  "Imniorons."    I  stand  corrected. 
Mr.  Thomas.  You  might  say  in  an  insidious  vein. 
Mr.  Warnek.  Yes;  insidious. 

Mr.  Thomas.  We  can't  understand,  if  you  have  talked  to  the  other  producers, 
why  they  don't  do  something. 

Mr.  Waknkk.  I  talked  to  them  individually. 

Mr.  Thomas.  All  right,  individually.  They  jjrobably  consciously  or  uncon- 
sciously agree  with  you,  but  just  give  you  a  blank  stare,  as  you  say.  But  we 
•want  to  know  what  you  can  do  about  it.     How  will  you  correct  the  situation? 

Mr.  Warner.  As  I  said,  I  have  gone  out  whole  hog  to  try  to  get  these  people  to 
•do  something  about  it.     I  cant  luiderstand  why  i:>eople  engage  them. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  what  we  would  like  to  know. 

Mr.  WARNFJt.  I  can't  fathom  it,  to  save  my  life. 

Mr.  Thomas.  But  we  want  to  know  liow  you  are  going  to  correct  the  situation. 
Do  you  think  they  will  keep  on  engaging  them  and  keep  on  doing  this  until,  the 
iirst  thing  you  know,  the  industry  gets  a  black  eye,  or  will  they  ultimately  get 
religion  as  you  have  got  religion? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  like  to  correct  that  statement.  I  didn't  get  religion.  I 
have  always  been  that  way — an  American. 

Mr.  Thomas.  I  didn't  mean  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Become  aware  of  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  By  religion  I  meant  you  have  become  aware  of  the  danger. 

Mr.  Warner.  Of  the  danger ;  that  is  correct. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Will  they  become  aware  or  not  become  aware  and  the  industry 
get  a  black  eye':" 

Mr.  Warnek.  I  can  say  this  for  the  industry :  They  are  all  good  Americans,  but 
some  of  them  look  upon  this  type  of  man  drawing  a  big  salary  as  lieing  a  good, 
-capable  writer  and  see  no  reason  why  be  should  not  keep  on  working,  because 
there  is  no  law  against  it. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Well,  there  is  no  law  against  it,  but  I  want  to  tell  you  if  I  had 
:a  business  it  would  not  make  any  difference — whether  it  is  the  insurance  business 
-which  I  have  got — or  whethei-  it  was  the  moving  picture  business  or  some  other 
l)usiness — if  I  had  a  business  I  would  not  keep  a  commie  in  there  5  seconds. 

Mr.  Warner.  That  is  my  policy  and  my  brother's  policy. 

Mr.  Thomas.  You  have  done  the  same  thing. 

Mr.   Warner.  Detinitely. 

Mr.  Thoaias.  But  the  dollar  sign  plays  a  big  part  with  some  of  the  other  fel- 
lows, and  that  is  what  astounds  us. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  would  like  to  make  a  bi'ief  statement  outlining  the  policy  of  the 
<-onipany  and  ourselves  personally  regarding  subversive  elements  such  as  leftists, 
fellow  travelers,  or  members  of  the  Connnunist  Party.  I  wish  to  reiterate  the 
very  tenor  of  Congressman  Thomas'  feeling  as  just  stated  because  I  could  not 
improve  on  it.  I  also  want  to  offer  as  evidence,  if  you  will  accept  it,  two  of  our 
personnel  blanks  that  have  been  in  use  for  a  number  of  years.  This  yellow  ap- 
plication form  was  first  used  in  193().  I  would  like  to  have  you  look  at  question 
No.  10.  And  on  the  white  form,  page  3.  question  No.  17,  where  we  deliberately 
put  in  there  through  my  personal  direction — I  would  like  you  to  read  it  [handing 
•documents  to  IMr.  Stripling]. 

Mr.  Stript.ing.  I  will  read  it  into  the  record. 

Question  No.  10.  "Are  you  atiiliated  with  any  organization  or  group  that  is 
fintagonistic  to  the  principles  of  our  American  form  of  government?" 

That  is  on  the  yellow  form. 

Now,  the  white  form,  question  No.  17: 

"Are  you  atiiliated  with  any  organization  or  group  antagonistic  to  the  prin- 
ciples of  our  American  form  of  government?  (Yes  or  no) — .  Are  you  a  mem- 
ber of  any  organization,  society,  group,  or  sect  owing  allegiance  to  a  foreign  gov- 
ernment or  rule?      (Yes  or  no) — ■" 

Mr.  Warner.  We  had  plenty  of  rebuffs  from  people  who  had  to  answer  them 
or  they  wouldn't  get  a  job. 

(The  afore-mentioned  documents  were  marked  "Warner  Exhibits  Nos.  1  and 
2."  I'o.spectively. )' 

Mr.  Stripling.  Don't  you  tliink  tlie  most  effective  way  of  removing  these  Com- 
munist   influences — and    I   say   Communist   influences;    I   am   not  saying   Com- 


"  Sop  appendix,  p.  .">2.3.  for  Warnpr  exhiliits  1  and  2.  .submitted  in  pxocntive  hearings,  May 
15.  1047,  now  designated  as  exhibits  9  and  10. 


50  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

niunists;  I  am  not  accusing  them  all  of  being  Communists — but  don't  you  think 
the  most  effective  way  is  the  pay-roll  route?  In  other  words,  if  the  owners  and 
producers  cut  these  people  off  the  pay  roll  it  would  eliminate  it  much  quicker  than 
a  congressional  conmiittee  or  crusades  and  so  forth. 

iMr.  Waknkb.  Well,  that  definitely  would  be.  Of  course,  if  you  drop  them  out 
of  pictures  then  the  Communists  have  other  ways  of  doing  it.  In  New  York  I 
saw  All  of  My  Sons,  written  by  Arthur  Miller.  Here  are  some  of  the  lines :  •'Rich 
men  are  made  ambassadors.    Poor  men  are  strung  up  by  the  thumbs." 

Another  line:  "You  can't  walk  along  the  street  and  spit  unless  you  hit  a  college 
man." 

They  write  about  21  cylinder  heads  that  were  brolcen.  They  can't  write  about 
the  1,500,000  good  airplane  motors  produced.  These  are  the  kind  of  things  they 
write  about.    That  play  disgusted  me.    I  almost  got  into  a  fist  fight  in  tlie  lobby. 

I  said,  "How  dare  they?''  They  wrote  about  21  little  cylinder  heads  that  were 
cracked.  And  the  play  is  a  good  play,  but  it  has  all  of  this  stuff  in  it.  In  fact, 
it  won  the  critics'  award  in  New  York,  and  was  directed  by  a  chap  named  Elia 
Kazan  who  is  now  at  Twentieth  Century-Fox  as  a  director.  He  directed  Boomer- 
ang and  is  now  going  somewhere  to  make  a  picture  for  them. 

Mr.  Thomas.  What  is  the  new  one? 

Mr.  Warnek.  Gentlemen's  Agreement.    Can  I  say  something  off  the  record? 

Mr.  Thomas.  Put  it  on  the  record. 

Mr.  Wariver.  This  fellow  is  also  one  of  the  mob.  I  know  of  him.  I  pass  him 
by  but  won't  talk  to  him. 

'  Mr.  Stripling.  Doesn't  it  kind  of  provoke  you  to  pay  them  $1,000  or  $2,000  a 
week  and  see  them  on  the  picket  lines  and  joining  all  of  these  organizations  and 
taking  your  money  and  trying  to  tear  down  a  system  that  provides  the  money? 

Mr.  Waenf:e.  That  is  absolutely  correct  because  I  will  offer  as  evidence  John 
Howard  Lawson — a  photograph  oif  him  in  our  picket  line  in  the  big,  strike  of  1945. 
The  strike  was  supposedly  on  account  of  the  carpenters  and  painters. 

Have  you  got  it  ?    I  haven't  seen  it  for  a  long  time. 

(Mr.  Matthews  hands  photograph  to  Mr.  Warner.) 

Mr.  Warnkr.  1  have  never  seen  this  fellow  in  person,  but  here  he  is.  In  that 
line  was  John  Wexley  to  whom  I  called  your  attention  before.  Tliere  were  loads 
of  them — Ring  Lardner,  Jr.  They  even  went  so  far  as  to  send  me  a  threatening 
telegram  which  I  am  sorry  I  didn't  bring  with  me — that  we  were  using  goons 
to  destroy  union  labor.  They  are  the  ones  that  came  through  with  goons  from 
Chicago  and  overturned  our  motorcars.  We  have  motion  pictures  of  it.  It  is 
nauseating  to  see  it. 

(Tlie  photograph  referred  to  by  Mr.  Warner  was  marked  "'Warner  Exhibit 
No.  3.")* 

Mr.  Stripling.  About  that  time  what  were  you  paying  Mr.  Lawson  and  some 
of  these  other  writers? 

Mr.  Warner.  We  were  probably  giving  them  about  $750. 

Mr.  Thomas.  $750  a  week? 

Mr.  Warner.  Yes.  He  was  there  only  for  that  one  picture.  Here  is  the  way 
the  fellows  get 'into  the  studios,  in  my  opinion.  In  each  studio  there  is  what  they 
call  a  steerer.  Most  of  them  are  menibers  of  the  story  editors  and  writing 
departments  and  they  bring  in  all  these  boys.  I  tried  to  find  out  how  they  got  in 
our  place.  There  was  a  very  inoffensive,  nice  chap — a  vei'y  nice  guy  all  around — 
his  name  is  James  Goller.  I  don't  know  if  he  belongs  to  anything,  but  he  must  be 
something  on  the  left  side  of  the  street.  He  is  the  one  that  steered  most  of  these 
writers  into  the  studio.    He  was  in  charge  of  picking  up  writers. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Is  he  still  employed  by  you? 

Mr.  WARNER.  No.  He  went  the  moment  his  contract  was  out  and  we  could 
legally  get  rid  of  him.  He  has  been  gone  at  least  for  some  time.  They  are  all 
gone.    The  last  one  that  left  us  was  Gordon  Kahn. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Your  eyes  have  really  been  opened.  Mr.  Warner. 

Mr.  Warner.  They  were  open  all  the  time.  I  always  had  my  eyes  open.  I 
don't  mean  to  say  that  I  didn't  but  I  didn't  realize  what  method  they  were  using. 
I  always  looke(i  upon  the  Communists  as  overthrowing  the  Govermnent  by 
violence  and  force.     1  believe  that  is  the  very  words  that  they  state. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  think  that  is  all  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Mr.  AVakni-b.  Let  me  see  what  else  I  may  have  here.  There  are  many  ways 
of  going  against  the  capitalist  system  using  one  form  or  another,  such  as  poking 


*  See  appendix,  p.  523,  for  Warner  Exhibit  No.  3,  submitted  in  executive  hearing,  May  15. 
1947,  now  designated  as  exhibit  11. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  51 

fun  at  our  political  system.  This  seems  to  be  the  easiest  way  for  writers  to  get 
by  us,  and  by  the  prodvu'tion  heads.    The  rich  man  is  their  favorite  choice. 

Now,  I  have  something  on  the  back  here.  After  this  big  strilve  these  people 
were  naturally  of  the  opinion  that  we  were  sympathetic  with  them,  which  we 
were  to  labor  in  general.  Laborers  were  trying  to  live  on  $1>S  a  week  in  the  de- 
pression period  and  my  brotlier  and  I  deliberately  raised  the  wage  scale  from 
around  ;">(»  or  00  cents,  wluitever  it  was,  to  85  cents,  and  w^e  were  rather  criti- 
cizi^d  by  people  around  here.  \\'hen  the  strike  started  they  picked  on  us  first, 
thiidcing  tliat  we  were  with  tliem.  They  instantly  found  out  we  were  not  with 
them  ;  it  was  just  to  tlie  contrary.  When  asked  why  they  picked  on  Warner 
Bros.,  they  sai<l  they  figured,  biMng  oui-  friends,  we  would  succumb  immediately 
and  sign  the  new  contract.  Tliis  was  a  .)urlsdi<tional  strike — not  for  wages. 
They  are  still  striking  to  this  day.  When  they  found  out  about  us,  they  got 
off  of  us  i-apidly  and  they  don't  like  us  any  more. 

Mr.  Thomas.  I  have  one  more  question.  You  saw  an  Associated  Press  dis- 
patch that  appeared  in  the  newspapers  a  few  days  ago,  in  fact,  on  May  12.  It 
was  a  statement  made  by  the  interpreter  Yuri  Zliukt)v  in  which  he  stated  that 
the  United  States  films  smelled  a  mile  of  propaganda.  This  is  his  exact  state- 
ment. He  said  that  "American  proihicers  were  cooperating  with  the  State 
Department  and  monopoly  capital  to  glut  the  world  market  with  films  giving  a 
distorted,  sweetened  picture  of  life  in  the  United  States." 

Why  do  you  thing  Mr.  Zhukov  made  that  statement V  That  was  just  a  few  days 
ago.     You  probably  read  it. 

Mr.  Wakner.  Yes;  I  did  read  that  statement.  Well,  I  think  that  they  really 
believe  it.  They  believe  that  through  our  pictures  we  are  trying  to  sell  the 
American  doctrine. 

Mr.  THOifAS.  Or  was  it  to  head  off  a  new  flood  of  pictures  that  the  producers 
may  be  considering  putting  out  that  might  be  anti-Communist  films? 

Mr.  Wakneu.  It  could  be  that.  I  am  sure  the  Russian  i>ropagandists  need  no 
aid  from  anyone.    They  are  pretty  clever.    They  know  everything. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Isn't  it  true  there  will  be  a  rush  of  anti-Communist  films? 

Mr.  WAKNEii.  I  don't  think  there  will  be  a  rush  of  them,  but  there  are  going 
to  be  a  few  made  because  we  are  making  one  now,'  I^p  Until  Now.  We  sent  a 
company  to  Boston  to  get  proper  locations.  In  making  this  type  of  film  you  have 
to  be  certain  you  are  portraying  the  events  of  the  day.  You  can't  say  that  you 
are  going  to  make  Mission  to  jMoscow  in  1947  because  1942  was  an  entirely 
different  story.  Then  they  were  our  allies  and  when  you  are  fighting  your  enemy 
you  go  along  with  your  allies  until  you  win. 

Yes ;  I  feel  you  have  proven  a  point,  in  my  opinion.  Propagandawise  they 
contemplate  many  anti-Communist  pictures  and  I  don't  believe  there  will  be  so 
many  made.  The  only  one  I  know  going  right  out  to  tell  the  story  is  the  one  we 
are  preparing.  The  rest  of  them  are  doing  it  in  one  form  or  another.  I  don't 
say  anyone  will  make  any  pro-Russian  pictures,  because  that  is  ridiculous.  They 
will  try  to  make  good  American  stories.  There  have  been  some  verj',  very  won- 
derful sequences  and  American  speeches  made  by  the  companies  in  the  past.  -  I 
don't  think  there  is  anyone  who  hasn't  tried  in  one  form  or  another  to  do  that, 
but  every  once  in  a  while  they  will  get  this  anticapitalistic  propaganda,  as  I  have 
found  it,  and  some  of  it  may  stick  in  the  films.  They  have  gotten  things  over 
on  me :  I  know  they  have. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Have  you  any  more  questions? 

Mr.  Stripling.   I  have  no  more  questions. 

Mr.  McDowell.    I  have  none. 

Mr.  W^arneb.  If  you  don't  mind  just  a  moment.  Would  you  want  this  for  the 
record?  You  can  use  it  as  you  wish.  These  are  copies  of  Communist  literature 
distributed  on  our  picket  lines  in  the  1945  strike. 

Mr.  Thomas.  We  would  like  very  much  to  have  them. 

Mr.  Warner.  We  have  books  that  high  of  evidence  that  Avent  on  in  front  of 
the  studio,  but  everybody  knows  about  this. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  will  ask  the  reporter  to  mark  those  exhibits  at  this  point  in 
the  record. 

(The  leaflets  referred  to  were  marked  "Warner's  Exhibits  4,  5,  and  0."*) 

Mr.  Warner.  Screening  pictures  for  subversive  messages — that  is  the  cardhial 
point.  We  watch  everything.  One  fellow  came  up  and  objected  and  found 
fault  with  the  destruction  of  the  Indians  and  what  not  in  order  for  the  white 


'  See  appendix,  p.   523.  for  Warner  Exhitiits  N().s.  4,  5,  and  6,  introduced  in  executive 
hearing,  May  15,  1947,  now  designated  as  exliibits  12,  13,  and  14. 


52  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

men  to  builfl  a  railroad  out  West.  Whether  it  i.s  true  or  false  I  don't  know.  I 
really  don't  know  because  I  wasn't  there.  He  said,  "There  is  no  reason  why 
we  can't  do  that  becjiuse  it  is  in  the  school  books.  They  have  been  writing 
about  it  for  almost  100  years  and  it  is  a  fact."  Then  he  recited  a  picture  that 
we  made  about  the  i-ailroad  barons,  or  whatever  you  want  to  call  them  in  the 
East,  a  picture  called  Saratoga  Trunk,  directed  by  Sam  Wood,  a  very  tine  man. 
If  you  saw  that  film  you  will  remember  Gary  Cooper  and  Ingrid  Bergman.  It 
came  out  a  couple  of  years  ago.  The  men  were  trying  to  steal  railroads  from 
one  another.  I  don't  Ivuow,  they  called  them  robber  barons  or  s(»mething  of  that 
nature.  Tliey  come  back  with  those  kinds  of  things,  "You  permitted  it  in  Sara- 
toga Truidv  and  you  don't  let  it  go  here.  That  is  the  way  I  feel  about  it.  This 
is  really  not  about  Indians.  It  is  really  about  the  building  of  the  West."  They 
have  the  routine  of  the  Indians  and  the  colored  folks.  That  is  always  their 
set-up. 

Mr.  Thomas.  The  committee  appreciates  your  coming  here,  Mr.  Warner.  You 
are  doing  a  .splendid  job.  We  only  wish  that  it  could  be  carried  through  into 
some  of  the  other  companies.  If  at  any  time  you  have  any  ideas  as  to  how 
you  can  -rt'ork  out  the  situation  with  the  other  producers  in  order  to  accomplish 
just  what  you  have  been  doing  I  think  it  would  be  helpful  to  the  country.  The 
main  thing  I  want  to  say  right  now  is  we  certainly  appreciate  your  coming  here 
today  and  giving  us  your  cooperation.  What  you  said  has  been  very  helpful  to 
the  committee.     This  is  off  the  record. 

Mr.  Warner.  May  I  give  you  a  couple  of  more  things  in  case  you  want  to  use 
them  ■? 

Mr.  Thomas.  Go  right  ahead. 

Mr.  Warner.  It  is  t)ften  difficult  to  prevent  the  hiring  of  certain  people  due  to 
the  fact  the  majority  of  employees  are  hired  through  unions  and  through  the 
guilds,  some  of  which  are  Communist-controlled.  Also  the  discharging  of  sub- 
versive employees  is  difficult  because  of  union  regulations.  We  have  to  do  it 
along  seniority  lines.  One  of  the  guilds  was  pretty  pink  and  we  had  to  close  a 
complete  department  in  order  to  get  rid  of  them  The  Story  Analysts  was  the 
name  of  it.     We  had  to  close  the  whole  thing  and  do  it  in  New  York,  which  I  did. 

We  established  some  time  ago  a  unit  to  investigate  these  things  and  this  type 
of  work  in  the  studio. 

Mr.  Thomas.  Is  there  anything  in  your  testimony  which  you  have  given  here 
today  that  you  are  willing  for  us  to  give  out  to  the  press? 

Mr.  Warner.  Let  me  tell  you  two  more  things,  about  the  Bulletin  which  we 
have  here,  and  I  would  like  to  submit  a  photostatic  copy  of  an  open  letter  to 
Jack  Warner,  dated  October  23, 1945,  printed  in  the  New  Masses. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  will  be  the  next  exhibit. 

(Theoi>en  letter  was  marked  "Warner's  Exhibit  No.  7.")  i" 

Mr.  Matthews.  We  have  some  bulletins  issued  by  the  lATSE. 

(The  bulletins  referred  to  dated  November  2  and  13,  1945,  were  marked  "War- 
ner's Exhibits  8  and  9,"  respectively.)  ^i 

Mr.  Thomas.  Now,  is  there  anything  which  you  have  given  us  that  you  would 
like  for  us  to  say  to  the  press? 

Mr.  Warner.  There  is  one  thing  that  is  very  important,  something  I  would  not 
like  to  give  to  the  press  ;  let's  put  it  that  way. 

Mr.  Thomas.  What  is  that? 

Mr.  Warner.  That  is  the  whole  routine  on  Mission  to  Moscow. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  the  one  thing  you  don't  want  to  give  to  the  press? 

Mr.  War.M':r.  That  is  the  one  thing  I  don't  want  to  give  to  the  press  because 
that  is  like  throwing  the  hananer  and  sickle  up  in  front  of  you,  and  it  all  hap- 
pened back  in  1942. 

Mr.  Thomas.  That  is  all. 

(Witness  excused.) 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail  ? 

Mr.  Vail.  I  avouUI  like  to  get  one  or  two  specific  answers  from 
Mr.  Warner. 

Touching-  again  upon  the  association,  you  are  a  very  responsible 
executive  in  tlie  motion-picture  industry,  Mr.  Warner.    You  are  thrown 


'"  Sec  appendix,  p.  52,S,  for  exhibit  15. 

"  See  appondix,  p.  .523,  for  exhibits  16  and  17. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  53 

into  an  association,  in  this  organization,  with  other  ex(^cutives  of  the 
industry. 

Now,  we  have  touched  ni)on  the  writers  that  were  dismissed.  But 
we  all  liave  knowledge  of  a  large  numher  of  actors  who  are  generally 
known  to  have  connnunistic  sympathies  and  are  contributors  to  the 
Connnunist  war  chest.  It  would  seem  to  me  that  your  organization 
would  recognize  the  fact  that  the  American  people  are  not  interested 
in  viewing  the  pictures  in  wdiich  actors  appear  who  have  communistic 
leanings.  It  would  seem  to  me  that  this  organization  should  concern 
itself  with  cleaning  house  in  its  own  industry. 

You  pointed  out  what  the  organization  was  not  organized  for,  but 
you  didn't  touch  upon  the  reason,  the  actual  reason  or  reasons,  for  its 
existence.  I  take  it  for  granted  that  the  reason  is  the  betterment  and 
the  improvement  of  the  industry.  I  don't  think  that  you  can  improve 
the  industry  to  any  greater  degree  and  in  any  better  direction  than 
through  the  elimination  of  the  writers  and  the  actors  to  wdiom  definite 
communistic  leanings  can  be  traced. 

Don't  you  agree  to  that,  Mr.  Warner? 

Mr.  Warnp^r.  I  agree  to  it  personally,  Mr.  Congressman,  but  I 
cannot  agree  as  far  as  the  association  is  concerned.  I  can't,  for  the 
life  of  me,  figure  where  men  could  get  together  and  try  in  any  form, 
shape,  or  manner  to  deprive  a  man  of  a  livelihood  because  of  his 
political  beliefs. 

It  would  be  a  conspiracy,  the  attorney  tells  me,  and  I  know  that 
myself. 

Mr.  Vail,  At  this  stage  w^e  have  no  law.  There  is  a  question  as  to 
whether  we  shall  have  a  law  to  illegalize  (sic)  communism.  But  we 
have  to  recognize  that  the  motion-picture  industry  is  one  of  the  chan- 
nels through  which  is  established  the  groundwork  for  the  eventual 
destruction  by  force,  that  you  spoke  of  a  little  while  ago. 

Don't  you  think  it  is  a  job  of  the  industry,  then,  to  prevent  the 
insertion  of  the  tentacles  of  the  communistic  ideology  through  your 
industry? 

Mr.  Warner,  Speaking  as  an  individual  American,  with  each  man 
in  the  industry  having  a  responsibility,  I  feel  like  you  do,  I  feel, 
likewise,  in  the  free  press,  the  radio,  and  the  theater  to  a  degree  more 
or  less,  that  everybody  is  very,  very  cognizant  of  the  duty  that  they 
are  entrusted  with,  in  the  dissemination  of  the  American  way  of  life. 

Speaking  for  myself,  as  I  have  testified  many  times  here,  I  am 
more  than  aware  of  it,  and  I  do  everything  that  is  humanly  possible 
to  eradicate  it  in  every  form,  shape,  or  manner.  That  could  be  my 
only  answer.  The  producers'  association  has  nothing  to  do  with  a 
man's  ability  to  earn  a  living,  and  so  forth.  We  meet  in  common 
purpose  for  the  betterment  of  moral  standards  of  our  business — sort 
of  good  public  relations,  I  would  call  it. 

Mr.  Vail.  Well,  you  recognize  the  fact  that  conmuniism  is  a  very 
definite  threat  to  our  Govennnent  today? 

Mr.  Warner.  I  certainly  do  recognize  it — a  threat  not  only  to  the 
United  States  but  to  many  of  the  European  and  the  far-eastern 
countries. 

Mr.  Vail.  Well,  you  recognize  the  fact,  also,  that  the  motion-picture 
industry,  ])aying  high  salaries  to  actors  professing  connnunism  and 


54  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

supportino;  the  Connnunist  Party,  is  lending  aid  and  sujiport  to  the 
communistic  effort  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  If  you  have  that  proof,  undoubtedly  that  is  what  they 
are  doing.     I  don't  know  whether  they  are  doing  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Vail.  I  feel  that  you  are  much  better  informed  than  I  am  about 
the  situation  out  in  Hollywood.  I  assume  that  while  you  may  not 
know,  you  probably  have  heard  rumors — like  all  the  rest  of  us  have 
heard  rumors — that  certain  actors  and  actresses,  as  well  as  writers,  are 
substantial  contributors  to  the  Communist  Party. 

Mr.  Warner.  I  have  heard  rumors.  It  is  sort  of  common  gossip, 
for  the  want  of  something  else  to  s])eak  about. 

Mr.  Vail.  Well,  you  have  failed  to  act  for  lack  of  supporting  proof. 
Would  you  act  if  proof  were  supplied  ? 

Mr.  Warner.  We  would  act  very  effectively  if  we  had  the  proof. 

Mr.  Vail.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Warner. 

Mr.  Warner.  You  are  welcome. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chair:man.  Mr.  Nixon  ? 

Mr.  NixoN.  No  questions. 

The  Ceiairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDowell.  I  have  no  questions. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  would  like  to  announce  that  it  is  going 
to  be  the  policy  of  the  committee  to  go  into  session  every  morning  at 
10 :  30,  to  recess  at  V2 :  30,  to  reconvene  at  2,  and  to  adjourn  at  4. 

The  witnesses  scheduled  for  tomorrow — and  we  will  have  two  more 
witnesses  this  afternoon — will  be,  first,  Mr.Adolphe  Menjou;  second, 
Mr.  Jack  Moif  itt ;  and,  third,  Ayn  Rand. 

Mr.  Warner,  the  committee  desii'es  to  thank  you  A^ery  much  for 
being  here  today  and  speaking  so  freely  and  for  doing  the  excellent 
job  which  you  have  done  in  your  own  studio  in  cleaning  house. 

Thank  you.^^ 

Mr.  Kenny.  Mr.  Chairman— — - 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  is  adjourned. 

(Whereupon,  at  12  :  30,  a  recess  was  taken  until  2  p.  m.) 

afternoon  session 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order. 
Mr.  Stripling,  the  first  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  first  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  is  Sam  Wood. 
The  Chairman.  Mv.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood,  do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are  about 
to  give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth? 
Mr.  W^ooD.  I  do,  sir. 
The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  SAMUEL  GROSVENOR  WOOD 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Wood,  will  you  please  state  your  full  name? 

Mr.  Wood.  Samuel  Grosvenor  Wood. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation  ? 


"  See  appendix,  p.  524,  for  subpena  of  Jack  L.  Waruer,  being  exhibit  18. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  55 

Mr.  Wood.  1  am  a  motion-picture  producer  and  director. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  was  born  in  Pliikidelphia,  Pa.,  1883. 

The  Chairman.  Excuse  me,  Mr.  Stripling. 

Haven't  you  an  attorney? 

Mr.  Wood.  No. 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead. 

]\Ir.  Stripling.  Do  you  desire  an  attorney? 

Mr.  Wood.  No.    I  am  certainly  satisfied. 

^Ir.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  associated  with  the  motion 
l)icture  industry,  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  For  over  30  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  are  the  various  positions  that  you  have  held 
in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Wood.  Pardon  me? 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  various  positions  you  have  held.  You  have 
been  producer,  director 

]Mr.  Wood.  I  w^as  first  assistant  director  for  a  year  and  a  half  and 
then  became  a  director ;  then  I  produced  and  directed  my  own  pictures. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  name  to  the  committee  some  of  the  films 
which  you  have  produced  and  directed  in  recent  years  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  Saratoga  Trunk,  Goodbye  Mr.  Chips,  For  Wliom 
the  Bell  Tolls,  Kitty  Foyle,  King's  Row ;  the  last  picture  was  Ivy,  with 
Joan  Fontaine. 

]VIr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Screen  Directors  Guild? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  explain  to  the  committee  what  the  Screen 
Directors  Guild  is? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  it  is  very  similar  to  a  union.  I  mean,  we  have 
banded  together  to  protect  our  rights  and  have  a  uniform  front  on 
subjects  that  might  come  up  with  the  executives  or  the  studios. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  how  many  members  the  Screen  Direc- 
tors Guild  has? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  we  have  two  hundred  and  forty-some.  I  am  not 
sure  of  that,  but  I  think  that  is  it. 

]\Ir.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  the  Screen  Directors 
Guild  has  ever  been  infiltrated  by  the  Communists? 

^Ir.  Wood.  They  have  tried. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  tell  the  committee  of  the  efforts  that  you 
are  aware  of  on  the  part  of  the  Communists  to  infiltrate  the  Screen 
Directors  Guild? 

Mr.  Wood.  There  is  a  constant  effort  to  get  control  of  the  guild.  .  In 
fact,  there  is  an  effort  to  get  control  of  all  unions  and  guilds  in  Holly- 
wood. I  think  our  most  serious  time  was  when  George  Stevens  was 
president ;  he  went  in  the  service  and  another  gentleman  took  his  place, 
who  died,  and  it  was  turned  over  to  John  Cromwell.  Cromwell,  with 
the  assistance  of  three  or  four  others,  tried  hard  to  steer  us  into  the 
Red  river,  but  we  had  a  little  too  much  weight  for  that. 

jMr.  Stripling.  Will  you  mime  the  others? 

Mr.  Wood.  Irving  Pichel,  Edward  Dmytryk,  Frank  Tuttle,  and — I 
am  sorry,  there  is  another  name  there.    I  forget. 

Mr.  Stripling.  If  you  think  of  it,  will  you  give  it  for  the  record? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes. 


56  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Wood,  are  you  a  ineniber  of  the  Motion  Picture 
Alliance  for  tlie  Preservation  of  American  Ideals  ? 

Mr.  W()(H).  I  am.     I  was  the  first  president. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  tell  the  connnittee  the  circumstances  mider 
which  this  organization  was  founded,  and  the  rea.son  why  it  was 
founded? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  the  reason  was  very  simple.  We  organized  in 
self-defense.  We  felt  that  there  was  a  definite  effort  by  the  Commu- 
nist Party  members,  or  Party  travelers,  to  take  over  the  unions  and 
the  guilds  of  Hollywood,  and  if  they  had  the  unions  and  guilds  con- 
trolled, they  would  have  the  plum  in  tlieir  lap  and  they  would  move 
on  to  use  it  for  Communist  propaganda. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  recall  the  year  that  the  alliance  was  estab- 
lished ? 

Mr.  Wood.  1944. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I. have  here  a  copy  of  the  statement  of  principles 
of  the  guild. 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Without  reading  them  into  the  record,  could  you 
briefly  outline  to  the  committee  the  purposes?     I  will  hand  you  this. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  am  sorry,  I  don't  have  my  glasses.  I  was  going  to 
ask  yon  to  read  it  for  me. 

Mr.  Stripling  (reading)  : 

Statement  of  I'rinciples 

We  believe  in,  and  like,  the  American  wny  of  life;  the  liberty  and  Iretnloni 
which  generations  before  us  have  fought  to  create  and  preserve;  the  freedom 
to  speak,  to  think,  to  live,  to  worship,  to  work,  and  to  govern  ourselves  as  indi- 
viduals, as  free  men ;  the  right  to  succeed  or  fail  as  free  men,  according  to  the 
measure  of  our  ability  and  our  sti'ength. 

Believing  in  these  things,  we  find  ourselves  in  sharp  revolt  against  a  rising 
tide  of  communism,  fascism,  and  kindred  beliefs,  that  seek  by  subversive  means 
to  undermine  and  change  this  way  of  life;  groiips  that  luive  forfeited  their  right 
to  exist  in  this  country  of  ours,  because  they  seek  to  achieve  their  change  by 
means  other  than  the  vested -procedure  of  the  ballot  and  to  deny  the  right  of  the 
ma.ioi'ity  opinion  of  the  people  to  rule. 

In  our  special  field  of  motion  pictures,  we  resent  the  growing  impression  that 
this  industry  is  made  up  of,  and  dominated  by,  Communists,  radicals,  and 
crackpots.  We  believe  that  we  represent  the  vast  majority  of  the  people  wh(v 
serve  this  great  medium  of  expression.  But  unfortunately  it  has  been  an  unor- 
ganized majority.  This  has  been  almost  intnMtable.  The  very  love  of  freedom, 
of  the  rights  of  the  individual,  make  this  great  majority  reluctant  to  organize. 
But  now  we  must,  or  we  shall  meanly  lose  "the  last,  best  hop;-  on  earth." 

As  Americans,  we  have  no  new  plan  to  offer.  We  want  no  new  plan,  we  want 
only  to  defend  against  its  enemies  that  which  is  our  priceless  heritage:  that 
freedom  which  has  given  man,  in  this  country,  the  fullest  life  and  the  richest 
expression  the  world  has  ever  known:  that  system  which,  in  the  present  emer- 
gency, has  fathered  an  effort  that,  more  than  any  other  single  factor,  will  make 
possible  the  winning  of  this  war. 

As  members  of  the  motion-picture  industry,  we  must  face  and  accept  an  espe- 
cial responsibility.  Motion  pictui'cs  are  inescaiiably  one  of  the  world's  greatest 
forces  for  inllueucing  public  tlionght  and  opinion,  iioth  at  home  and  abroad. 
In  this  fact  lies  solemn  obligation.  We  refuse  to  permit  the  effort  of  Com- 
munist. Fascist,  and  other  totalitarian-minded  groups  to  pervert  this  iiowerful 
medium  into  an  instrument  for  the  dissemination  of  un-American  ideas  and 
beliefs.  We  pledge  ourselves  to  fight,  with  every  means  at  our  organizxl  com- 
mand, any  effort  of  any  group  or  individual,  to  divert  the  loyalty  of  the  screen 
from  the" free  America  that  give  it  birth.  And  to  dedicate  our  work,  in  the 
fullest  possible  measure,  to  the  presentation  of  the  American  scene,  its  standards 
and  its  freedoms,  its  beliefs  and  its  ideals,  as  we  know  them  and  believe  in  them. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  57 

Mr.  Wood,  would  you  name  some  of  the  other  individuals  in  Holly- 
wood who  were  associated  with  you  in  the  formation  of  this  organi- 
zation ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Maurice  Kiskin,  Gary  Cooper,  Clark  Gable,  Bob  Taylor, 
Jim  McGuinness,  Howard  Emmett  Rogers,  Ralph  Clair,  Ben  Martinez, 
Joe  Touhy.  Those  last  three  men  are  labor  leaders.  When  we  first 
incorporated,  I  think  we  had  50  to  100  people  together  to  talk  this 
over,  and  then  we  decided  to  organize.  It  is  difficult  to  remember  all 
the  names.  I  don't  know  whether  that  is  enough.  Oh,  there  is  Ginger 
Rogers. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Victor  Fleming? 
Mr.  Wood.  Victor  Fleming.     Clarence  Brown. 
Mr.  Stripling.  Rupert  Hughes? 
Mr.  Wood.  Rupert  Hughes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  They  were  people  who  were  very  prominent  in  the 
industry? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes ;  very  prominent. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  reason  for  forming  this  organization  was  to 
combat  the  inroads  that  the  Communists  were  making  or  attempting  to 
make  within  the  industry  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Both  the  Communists  and  the  Fascists. 
Mr.  Stripling.  Did  your  organization  meet  with  any  opposition? 
Mr.  Wood.  Yes ;  great  deal  of  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  describe  for  the  committee  the  attack 
that  was  made  u]5on  the  organization  and  upon  the  individuals  who 
were  instrumental  in  founding  it? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  an  organization  was  gotten  together  called  the 
Emergency  Council  of  Hollywood  Guilds  and  Unions  over  which 
Emmett  Lavery  presided  and  back  of  the  scenes  was  Herbert  Sorrell. 
Then  there  was  an  organization  which  jumped  up  called  the  Free 
Word.  Walter  Wanger  dug  it  up  some  place.  I  think  it  has  quite 
a  background,  if  you  want  to  look  it  up.  Wanger's  first  attack  was  on 
the  basis  of  "We  don't  want  any  home-front  Communists  here."  He 
didn't  mention  any  home-front  Fascists.  He  called  it  "home-front 
Fascists,"  but  said  nothing  about  "home-front  Communists."  The 
other  attacks  were  individual.  We  know  of  a  number  of  people  that 
called  up  other  people.  It  just  depended  on  which  method  they 
though  would  be  the  most  effective.  And  they  referred  to  us  as  anti- 
Semitic,  anti-labor,  anti-Negro.  Of  course,  always  anti-labor  when 
they  couldn't  think  of  anything  else. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Isn't  that  the  usual  tactics  of  the  Communist  ? 
Mr.  Wood.  To  smear,  yes.     Smear  and  hide. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Wood,  is  it  your  opinion  that  the  Communists 
do  exercise  some  degree  of  influence  in  the  making  and  production  of 
motion  pictures  in  Hollywood  at  the  present  time,  or  have  in  the  past  ? 
Mr.  Wood.  Well,  at  the  present  time — of  course,  they  are  always 
trying — but  I  think  at  the  present  time  Hollywood  is  pretty  well  aware 
of  them  and  I  think  the  thing  is  watched  pretty  closely.  It  has  really 
caused  everyone  to  be  a  watch  dog.  They  know  pretty  well.  I  think 
it  was  inexperience  that  any  material  crept  through.  Now  that  they 
are  aware  of  it  they  kept  a  pretty  good  eye  on  them. 

It  isn't  only  what  they  get  in  the  films,  it  is  what  they  keep  out.  If 
a  story  has  a  good  point,  that  sells  the  American  way  of  living,  that 


58  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

can  be  eliminated  and  you  wouldn't  miss  it.  If  you  picture  some 
official,  or  the  banker,  as  a  dirty  "so  and  so,"  we  can  see  that,  and  out 
it  jToes.  Of  course,  they  know  me  pretty  well.  In  fact,  I  don't  have 
any  of  them  around.     I  don't  want  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  haven't  had  any  trouble  with  any  of  the  Com- 
munists in  your  own  productions? 

Mr.  Wood.  No. 

Mr.  STRirLiNG.  Why  do  you  think  that  is  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Because  I  don't  have  them.     Don't  want  them. 

Mr.  STRirLiNG.  Is  that  true  of  all  the  studios  in  the  motion-picture 
industry  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  know  the  heads  of  most  of  the  studios.  I  know  Louis 
Mayer,  Mrs.  Schenk,  Eddie  Manix,  I  know  the  Warners,  Mr.  Fried- 
man, Mr.  Ginsburg  of  Paramount,  Mr.  Yates  of  Republic.  I  could  go 
on  down  the  line.  I  don't  think  any  of  them  would  willingly  permit 
propaganda,  Communist  propaganda,  in  their  pictures.  But  it  is  im- 
possible, utterly  impossible  for  the  heads  of  the  studios  to  read  the 
number  of  scripts  they  would  have  to  read.  There  is  the  danger.  They 
are  always  trying.    So  you  have  to  be  a  watchdog. 

Mr.  Strttling.  What  group  in  the  industry  must  be  watched  more 
carefully  than  the  rest  ? 

Mr.  WojOd.  The  writers. 

JNIr.  Stripling.  The  writers  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  it  your  opinion  that  there  are  Communist  writers 
in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Wood.  Oh,  yes.  It  is  not  my  opinion,  I  know  positively  there 
are. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  j^ou  care  to  name  any  that  you  know  yourself 
to  be  Communists? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  I  don't  think  there  is  any  question  about  Dalton 
Trumbo;  any  .question  about  Donald  Ogden  Stevrart.  The  reporter 
asked  the  question  of  a  great  many  writers,  "Are  you  a  member  of  the 
Communist  Party,"  or  "Are  you  a  Communist?" 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  they  deny  it? 

Mr.  Wood.  They  didn't  answer  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Was  John  Howard  Lawson  one  of  those  persons? 

Mr.  Wood.  Oh,  yes;  he  is  active  in  every  piece  of  Communist  work 
going  on. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  there  any  question  in  your  mind  that  John  How- 
ard Lawson  is  a  Communist  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  If  there  is,  then  I  haven't  any  mind. 

I  suppose  there  are  19  gentlemen  back  there  that  say  I  haven't. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  did  you  first  notice  this  effort  on  the  part  of 
the  Communists  to  enter  Hollywood  or  to  exert  influence  in  the  mo- 
tion-picture industry? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  I  think  they  really  started  working  around  1030, 
some,  I  forget  the  exact  time.  I  think  we  were  very  conscious  of  it, 
had  been  for  some  time,  but  like  everyone  else  we  probably  hadn't  done 
anything,  because  it  is  quite  an  effort  and  you  get  quite  smeared,  and 
a  lot  of  people  would  like  to  duck  that.  It  is  fun  to  play  bridge,  for 
instance,  rather  than  to  check  on  something  like  that.  We  felt  it  more, 
I  think,  just  previously  to  our  organization  in  1944. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  59 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  was  the  reason,  in  other  words,  that  you  formed 
3'our  organization,  was  to  combat  the  increased  activity  on  the  part 
of  the  Communists  in  the  industry  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir ;  we  felt  there  was  a  great  danger,  and  it  was  in 
the  interest  of  self-defense  of  our  business,  because  we  felt  a  moral 
responsibility  for  our  business.  It  has  been  very  kind  to  a  lot  of  us, 
and  we  want  to  protect  it. 

Mr.  Striplincj.  Now,  Mr.  Wood,  would  you  give  the  committee  some 
of  these  examples  in  which  the  Communists  have  exerted  influence  in 
the  motion-picture  industry?  In  other  words,  how  do  they  go  about 
it,  what  is  the  mechanics  of  it? 

Mr.  Wood.  There  are  a  number  of  ways.  I  think  the  thing  that  is 
very  important,  and  the  thing  I  was  most  anxious  about,  is  the  pride 
of  Americans  in  working.  They  are  pretty  subtle.  For  instance,  a 
man  gets  a  key  position  in  the  studio  and  has  charge  of  the  writers. 
Wlien  you,  as  a  director  or  a  producer,  are  ready  for  a  writer  you  ask 
for  a  list  and  this  man  shows  you  a  list.  Well,  if  he  is  following  the 
party  line  his  j^ets  are  on  top  or  the  other  people  aren't  on  at  all.  If 
there  is  a  particular  man  in  there  that  has  been  opposing  them  they 
will  leave  liis  name  off  the  list.  Then  if  that  man  isn't  employed  for 
about  2  months  they  go  to  the  head  of  the  studio  and  say,  "Nobody 
wants  this  man."  The  head  is  perfectly  honest  about  it  and  says,  '"No- 
body wants  to  use  him,  let  him  go."  So  a  good  American  is  let  out. 
But  it  doesn't  stop  there.  They  point  that  out  as  an  example  and  say, 
"You  better  fall  in  line,  play  ball,  or  else."  And  they  go  down  the 
line  on  it. 

Mr.  StPvIplixg.  That  is  true  in  the  case  of  writers.  Would  you  say 
it  is  true  in  any  other  branch  of  the  industry  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  don't  think,  in  any  part  of  the  business,  they  will  use 
a  party  who  is  opposed  to  their  ideas,  if  they  can  avoid  it,  and  they  can 
usually  avoid  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  They  opei'ate  as  cliques,  in  other  words? 

Mr.  Wood.  Oh,  yes;  they  have  their  nleetings  every  night.  They 
ai'e  together ;  they  work  for  one  purpose. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  that  purpose,  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  I  think  they  are  agents  of  a  foreign  country  myself. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  see. 

The  CiLviRMAN.  Would  you  say  that  these  persons  you  named  here 
today  were  agents  of  a  foreign  country? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  anyone  following  the  party  line,  I  think  this 
particular  party  line,  are  agents  of  a  foreign  country.  I  think  they 
are  directed  from  a  foreign  country. 

It  isn't  exactly  fair  to  have  my  back  to  that  gang  out  there. 

Mr.  Stripling.  jNIr.  Wood,  from  time  to  time  have  pictures  been 
produced  by  Hollywood  which  portray  what  we  might  call  the  sordid 
side  of  American  life?  Are  3'ou  familiar  with  any  pictures  of  that 
kind  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  I  think  there  are  all  sides  of  life  and  I  think  they 
should  be  photographed.  I  would  like  to  say  that  I  think  one  of  the 
great  dangers  to  this  business  would  be  censorship  because  those 
people  are  so  Avell  organized  that  they  would  like  to  have  censorship 
because  then  they  would  get  their  stooges  in  the  position  of  censoring 
and  then  Avould  have  it  in  their  pocket.    And  as  far  as  the  sordid  side 


60  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

is  concerned,  I  think  3^011  should  tell  all  things  in  pictures.  I  think 
that  if  a  story  has  a  good  point  to  it — I  mean,  Grapes  of  Wrath — 
things  happen  in  America  and  I  think  we  should  show  it. 

Mr.  SxiaPLiNG.  I  believe  Mr.  Johnston,  when  he  aj^peared  before 
the  committee,  made  some  mention  of  Russia's  desire  to  obtain  cer- 
tain pictures  which  might  portray  the  worst  side  of  the  United  States. 
Do  you  know  of  any  pictures  that  they  have  endeavored  to  obtain 
to  show  in  Russia  ^ 

Mr.  Wood.  I  don't  know  as  they  would  be  anxious  to  show"  that  pic- 
ture, because,  after  all,  as  poor  as  they  were,  they  did  have  a  piece 
of  ground,  and  they  did  have  an  automobile,  and  they  are  at  liberty 
to  get  the  automobile  and  travel  across  the  country. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Speaking  of  Grapes  of  Wrath? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes;  I  don't  think  he  would  be  anxious  to  show  that. 
He  might  have  started  it,  but  I  think  they  would  take  it  off  if  they 
did. 

Mr.  Stkiplixg.  Now,  Mr.  Wood,  since  so  many  Americans  attend 
the  motion  pictures  every  week,  you  are  certainly  aware  of  the  tre- 
mendous propaganda  vehicle  it  affords.  Do  you  feel  that  the  Com- 
munists have  succeeded  in  putting  in  pictures  scenes  which — or  leav- 
ing scenes  out  of  pictures — which  indirectly  attack  our  system  of 
government  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  unquestionably  they  are  always  trying.  It  is  very 
difficult  for  the  American  people  to  understand  what  you  mean  b}^ 
Cf)mnuinist  projjaganda  in  pictures.  You  might  refer  to  some  pic- 
ture, something  is  mentioned,  and  they  say,  "That  is  ridiculous,  there 
is  no  propaganda  there,''  because  they  are  looking  for  some  howl  for 
Stalin  or  showing  the  Russian  way  of  life.  But  they  dcm't  show  that. 
They  have  nothing  to  sell.  All  they  want  to  do  is  try  to  unsell 
America. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  can  be  done  just  as  effectively  by  leaving 
stuff  out  of  pictures  as  by  putting  it  in? 

Mr.  W(H)D.  Yes:  they  don'f  want  to  show  the  American  way  of  life. 

Mr.  Stripling.  These  groups  or  cliques  that  you  have  referred  to 
in  the  motion-picture  industry,  are  they  a  source  of  financial  assist- 
ance to  the  Community  Party  in  California? 

Mr.  Wood.  Very  substantial.  For  example,  at  the  rally  which 
Katherine  Kepburn  attended,  they  raised  $87,000 — and  you  know 
that  didn't  go  to  the  Boy  Scouts. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  do  you  think  it  went  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  AVe  will  see  the  results  of  it.  Recently  they  had  a  rally 
for  these  19  guests  of  yours  and  they  raised  $10,000.  They  dig  the 
money  up,  or  else. 

Mr.  S'liupLiNG.  Were  you  ever  approached  by  any  Govermnent 
representative,  Mr.  Wood,  regarding  the  making  of  a  film  dealing 
with  the  Congress  of  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  tell  the  connnittee  the  circumstances 
of  that  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  got  a  phone  call  from  Sam  Spivak  in  New  York, 
1  think  he  was,  or  Washington,  saying  there  was  a  very  important 
picture  they  wanted  made,  and  particularly  wanted  me  to  make  it, 
because  it  had  to  be  so  aiul  so.    I  was  delighted  to  make  anvthing  that 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  61 

\vt)ul(l  help  the  war  effort.  I  said  all  right.  They  said  the  gentle- 
man wonld  be  out  tomorrow.  The  next  day  I  got  a  call  from  Lowell 
Mellett.  I  met  him  at  the  Brown  Derby  in  Beverly  Hills  and  he  had 
with  him  a  man  named  Pointer.  They  told  me  they  wanted  to  make 
a  short  showing  Congress  enacting  a  law.  It  was  a  little  strange  to 
me,  because  I  couldn't  figure  how  that  was  going  to  help  the  war 
effort. 

The  Chairman.  I  didn't  get  the  name  of  the  picture. 

Mr.  Wood.  A  short  showing  the  Congress  enacting  a  law.  And 
when  they  told  me  what  the  subject  was,  I  said,  I  was  a  little  sur- 
prised and  then  they  immediately  started  to  refer  to  "Joe" — different 
Members  of  the  Congress,  referred  to  them  by  their  first  names. 
They  were  a  little  amused  about  the  gentleman  "Joe."  In  the  mean- 
time I  thought  it  over  and  I  said,  "How  is  that  going  to  help  the  war 
effort.^"  and  they  looked  at  me  a  little  strangely,  and  in  a  few  minutes 
the  thing  was  over,  and  I  didn't  hear  any  more  of  it.  So  maybe  I 
spoke  too  quickly. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  gain  the  impression  that  they  thought  it 
ridiculed  Congress? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  had  an  idea  from  the  conversation  that  they  didn't 
think  highly  of  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  Mr.  Mellett  was  a  representa- 
tive then  of  the  Motion  F'icture  Section  of  the  Office  of  War  Infor- 
mation ? 

Mr.  WoDD.  I  don't  know  positively.  I  presume  he  was.  Spivak 
told  me  these  gentlemen  were  coming  out  and  I  presume  they  were 
conducted  with  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Can  you  tell  the  committee  whether  or  not  in  the 
past  there  have  been  efforts  to  discredit  certain  institutions  of  the 
American  Government  by  constantly  referring  to  the  Members  of 
Congress  as  being  crooks,  and  so  forth,  in  the  pictures  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  there  has  been  an  effort.  Of  course,  if  you  go 
back  in  pictures  you  will  find  frequently  the  banker  or  the  man  in 
l>ublic  life,  the  doctor,  any  one  of  them  would  be  the  heavy  in  the 
picture.  I  think  it  is  particularly  bad  if  that  is  constantly  shown, 
every  night  you  go  to  the  pictures  you  see  a  dishonest  banker,  or 
Senator,  you  begin  to  think  that  the  whole  system  is  wrong.  That  is 
the  way  they  work  on  it.  They  figure  if  you  can  break  down  or 
destroy  the  confidence  of  the  people  in  the  Government,  or  the  gentle- 
men who  are  executing  it,  then  it  is  a  very  simple  thing  to  have  a  new- 
idea  for  them — and,  believe  me,  they  have  got  one  for  you,  too. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  at  this  time. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood,  do  you  have  any  questions? 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  Mr.  Wood',  how  many  people  are  members  of 
the  Writers  Guild? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think,  sir.  about  eleven  or  twelve  hundred  members. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  This  other  organization;  what  was  that? 

Mr.  Wood.  Motion  Picture  Alliance? 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  Yes.     How  many  members  are  there  of  that? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  we  have  probably  1.100  members,  but  then  we  have 
tlie  heads  of  labor  and  they  control  a  great  many  votes.  We  have  a 
lot  of  people,  thousands  more  of  people,  who  are  indirectly  interested 
with  us  through  other  associations. 

67683—47 5 


62  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr,  John  S.  Wood.  What  percentage  of  the  membership  of  those 
organizations  would  you  say  now  follow  the  Communist  line? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  you  misunderstood.  I  said  that  the  Motion  Pic- 
ture Writers  Guild  was  controlled  by  the  Communists  but  they  are  a 
very  small  portion  of  them. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  How  do  they  control  it  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  sir,  how  do  they  control  labor?  After  all,  there 
are  a  lot  of  ways  they  do  it.  They  call  a  meeting,  they  start  argu- 
ments, it  gets  to  be  around  12  o'clock  and  they  are  still  going,  the  peo- 
ple go  home,  and  then  they  pass  what  they  want  to  pass.  They  have 
got  that  down  pretty  cleverly.  Of  course,  they  like  to  put  up  people 
who  are  not  members  of  the  Communist  Party.  It  is  much  more 
favorable  to  them  to  have  a  man  who  is  a  good  Catholic,  for  instance, 
stand  up  and  say,  "I  am  not  a  Communist,"  but  he  is  talking  for  them. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  You  say  you  have  been  in  the  producing. busi- 
ness how  long  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  have  been  in  the  motion-picture  directing  and  produc- 
ing end  for  over  30  years. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  During  that  time  you  directed  pictures  for 
various  studios  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir;  I  started  in  with  Paramount  and  then  went 
to  Metro.  I  think  I  was  with  those  two  for  20  years.  Then  I  went 
on  my  own.  I  mean,  I  didn't  go  directly  to  that.  I  have  made  pic- 
tures— if  I  liked  the  story  I  have  made  a  picture.  For  instance,  I 
wanted  to  get  Gary  Cooper  for  For  Whom  the  Bell  Tolls  and  (xold- 
wyn  would  only  let  me  have  him  if  I  made  Lou  Gehrig.  But  I  have 
been  producing  my  own  pictures  for  the  last  o  or  4  years. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  I  would  like  to  have  your  opinion  as  to  the  views 
on  communism  or  other  subversive  influences  embraced  by  any  re- 
sponsible studio  head  or  producer  for  whom  you  have  worked  or 
by  whom  you  have  been  employed. 

JSIr.  Wood.  I  have  never  come  in  contact  with  any  heads  of  any 
studios  that  were  Communist  inclined  or  favored  it  or  weren't  willing 
to  tight  against  it.  For  instance,  in  our  own  country  we  weren't  very 
conscious  of  it  until  very  recently.  I  think  now  you  can  depend  on 
them.  They  will  take  as  strong  action  as  the  Government  or  we  will 
take  with  them.     I  am  positive  of  that,  of  the  men  I  know. 

Mr.  John  S.  Wood.  I  believe  that  is  all. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  Wood,  you  have  indicated  that  the  organization 
which  you  have  described  believes  that  it  is  essential  for  Hollywood 
to  direct  its  attack  against  both  the  Fascists  on  the  one  side  and  the 
Communists  on  the  other? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  you  have  indicated  that  when  your  organization 
was  formed  there  were  certain  elements  in  Hollywood  which  leveled 
some  pretty  severe  attacks  upon  your  organization  and  that  those  at- 
tacks were  limited  to  that  part  of  your  program  that  had  to  do  with 
anti-Connnunist  activities? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir.  None  of  them  referred  to  us  as  Communists 
at  all.  It  was  sort  of  a  mouth-to-mouth  thing.  They  would  call  up. 
For  instance,  Jewish  members,  they  oven  called  them  anti-Semitic. 
Labor  people  were  antilabor.  It  didn't  make  any  difference.  But 
they  kept  it  up.     You  can't  stop  that. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  63' 

Mr.  Nixon.  The  grounds  which  generally  have  been  given  by  those 
who  dislike  any  criticism  of  Hollywood  following,  an  anti-Communist 
line,  shall  we  say,  or  any  criticism  of  the  pictures  which  have,  shall 
we  say,  been  pro-Comnuuiist,  is  that  they  do  not  feel  tliat  propaganda 
and  tiie  motion  pictures  should  be  controlled  and  they  do  not  feel  that 
it  should  be  used  for  the  purpose  of  attacking  any  way  of  thinking. 
You,  of  course,  have  heard  of  the  control  arguments  which  have  been 
used  time  and  time  again. 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir;  I  saw  a  copy  of  that  meeting. 

Mr.  Nixox.  This  group  obviously,  therefore,  has  said  we  don't  want 
to  see  any  investigations  of  Communist  activities  in  Hollywood,  we 
don't  want  to  see  any  pictures  which  are  anti -Communist,  or  any  in- 
fluence exerted  to  make  anti-Communist  pictures,  because  if  that  is 
the  case  we  would  be  leveling  an  attack  upon  the  right  of  people  to 
believe  anything  they  want  in  the  United  States  and  to  say  it  openly. 
But  by  the  same  token  have  any  members  of  those  groups  ever  criticized 
3'ou,  or  to  your  knowledge  have  they  ever  criticized  any  segment  of 
the  industry  for  the  pictures  which  Hollywood  has  made  in  which 
Hollywood  has  leveled  a  devastating  attack  on  the  totalitarian  form 
of  government  ? 

j\Ir.  Wood.  Well,  that  is  a  long  question.  Do  3'ou  want  me  to  take 
it  by  sections  ? 

Mr.  Nixox.  Have  you  any  knowledge  that  this  group  that  leveled 
attacks  upon  your  organization,  have  they  ever  criticized  you,  or  to 
your  knowledge  have  they  ever  criticized  the  industry  generally,  be- 
cause the  industry  has  made  in  the  past  pictures  which  attacked  the 
Nazi  and  Fascist  totalitarian  governments? 

]\rr.  Wood.  Of  course,  they  made  no  attacks  during  the  time  Hitler 
and  Stalin  were  together:  they  welcomed  that.  Previous  to  that 
Hitler  and  Mussolini  were  both  their  enemies.  As  soon  as  Hitler 
and  Stalin  got  together,  then  the  whole  thing  was  changed.  It  wasn't 
in  the  interest  of  America  or  in  the  interest  of  anything  in  particular 
but  Stalin.     That  was  their  main  idea. 

]Mr.  Nixox.  So  far  as  this  group  is  concerned,  it  is  "thought  con- 
trol'' whenever  the  motion-picture  industry  might  make  an  anti- 
Communist  film:  but  it  isn't  "thought  control"  if  they  were  to  make 
an  anti-Fascist  or  anti-Nazi  film?  In  other  words,  they  welcome  the 
first  but  oppose  the  latter? 

Mr.  Wood.  If  you  would  read  the  review  of  that  meeting  of  the 
"thought  conference"  held  at  Beverly  Hills  Hotel  you  would  know 
exactly  what  was  in  their  mind.  It  is  only  one  thing.  It  is  not 
America.  As  far  as  investigation  is  concerned,  we  would  welcome  an 
investigation.     Our  books  are  open  to  you  at  any  time. 

]Mr.  Nixox.  You  have  indicated  that  the  main  success  of  those  who 
follow  the  Communist  line  in  Hollywood  has  not  been  in  what  they 
have  been  able  to  get  into  i)ictures  but  what  they  have  been  able  to 
get  out  ? 

Mr.  AVooD.  I  think  they  are  both  dangerous,  but  I  think  what  they 
keep  out  is  doubly  dangerous.  You  wouldn't  notice  that.  If  the 
script  is  accepted,  you  don't  check  back.  I  do.  I  generally  go  back 
over  the  book  and  try  to  check  to  see  if  anything  important  was  left 
out.  But  if  they  don't  check  back,  they  leave  things  out  that  puts 
this  country  and  our  way  of  living  in  a  favorable  light. 


64  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Nixon.  In  addition,  they  might  also  be  interested  in  keeping 
out  of  the  fihiis  anything  that  ^vas  derogatory  of  the  Communist 
system  of  Government? 

Mr.  Wood.  Oh,  my  heavens,  yes ;  oh,  yes. 

Mr.  Nixon.  But  they  would  have  no  interest  in  keeping  out  of  the 
film  anything  that  was  derogatory  of  a  Fascist  or  the  Nazi  system  of 
government ;  that  is  true  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Pardon  me.     I  didn't  get  that. 

Mr.  Nixon.  They  wouldn't  be  interested  in  keeping  out  of  the  film 
anything  derogatory  of  nazism  or  fascism? 

Mr.  Wood.  No, 

Mr.  Nixon.  Which  illustrates  the  point  I  was  trying  to  make  in 
a  rather  lengthy  way — that  their  interest  is  only  when  it  comes  to 
keeping  anti-Communist  things  out  of  a  picture. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  see,  if  I  may  offer  something  there,  these  new  names 
of  fronts  ai'e  used.  They  start  a  front,  and  they  milk  it.  Where  the 
money  goes,  you  don't  know.  They  come  out  and  say  they  have  a 
Greek  relief.  Everybody  wants  to  give  to  the  Greek  relief.  Checking 
into  it,  it  is  found  it  has  gone  to  the  guerrillas.  Half  of  the  people  that 
give  money — people  feel  they  want  to  conti'ibute  to  a  good  cause — they 
don't  know  the  purpose  for  which  the  money  is  given;  they  don't  know 
where  the  money  goes.  These  organizations  take  one  and  milk  it  and 
start  a  new  one.  Sometimes  they  overlap  and  one  is  carried  on  over 
the  other. 

Mr.  NixoN.  If  Hollywood  were  to  make  a  picture  pointing  out  the 
methods  used — a  factual  picture  pointing  out  the  methods  used  and 
which  have  been  used  in  Europe  and  are  used  at  the  present  time  by 
the  ConuTiunists  in  taking  over  various  governments  now  behind  the 
iron  curtain,  a  picture  similar  to  those  made  about  the  Nazis  before 
World  War  II,  would  you  anticipate  serious  opposition  from  this 
group  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  They  would  try  every  possible  way  to  stop  it,  of  course. 

Mr.  NixoN.  Is  that  one  of  the  reasons  such  pictures  have  not  been 
made  in  the  past  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  No;  I  don't  think  so.  I  think  at  the  present  time  the 
studio  heads  rather  feel  that  anything  having:  to  do  with  war  at  the 
present  time  is  not  a  good  subject.  I  don't  think  anyone  would  hesi- 
tate to  make  it  if  there  were  a  good  story  presented. 

Mr.  NixoN.  To  get  clearly  your  attitude — because  I  think  it  is  im- 
portant that  we  draw  the  lines  pretty  clearly — from  what  you  have 
indicated  you  believe  that  no  control — or  shall  we  say  criticism — 
should  be  "directed  toward  Hollywood  for  making  pictures  like  the 
ones  Mr.  Stripling  described,  which  may  point  out  the  sordid  side  of 
life  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  it  would  be  a  great  mistake  to  have  that  censor- 
ship.   It  might  rectify  something  that  is  wrong  with  our  system. 

Mr.  Nixon.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  isn't  it  true  that  there  are  many 
pictures  which  point  out  the  weak  features  of  our  own  American  sys- 
tem which  have  been  made  by  people  whose  loyalty,  insofar  as  com- 
munism is  concerned,  is  absolutely  unquestioned?  In  other  words, 
peoi)le' who  are  anti-Communist  have  made,  and  will  continue  to  make, 
pictures  which  point  uj)  weaknesses  in  our  American  system? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir;  if  it  is  a  good  subject,  they  make  it. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  believe  it  is  essential  to  maintain  that  privilege? 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  65 

Mr.  W( »()!).  Yes,  sir ;  I  do.  It  is  very  important.  I  think  we  should 
have  freedom  to  make  the  thini^s  that  are  important.  There  may  be 
something-  that  you  want  to  show,  and  it  is  important  that  it  be  shown 
to  the  ])ublic. 

Mr.  Nixox.  Then  your  objection  is  simply  that  you  believe  it  is 
essential  that  the  knife  cut  both  ways — that  pictures  can  be  made 
pointing  out  the  true  state  of  conditions  in  the  United  States — 
pictures  can  be  made  pointing  out  the  good  features  of  our  system 
of  government  and  our  economic  system,  as  well  as  the  bad ;  but  what 
you  object  to  is  the  line  which  is  followed  by  some  of  the  people  in 
Hollywood  who  are  interested  only  in  pointing  up  that  side  which 
will  promote  eventually  the  changing  of  our  system  of  government 
and  setting  up  in  its  place  a  Communist  system  of  government? 

Mr.  AVooD.  Very  definitely;  yes;  I  agree. 

Mr.  Nixox.  What  is  involved  is  that  those  who  follow  the  Com- 
munist line  in  Hollywood  believe  in  a  free  screen  and  a  free  press 
and  free  speech  only  for  the  purpose  of  pointing  up  and  advocating 
their  own  political  ideas  and  the  system  of  government  which  they 
would  like  to  set  up  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes,  sir;  the  only  reason  they  support  that  idea  is  to 
tear  us  down.    That  is  all. 

The  CiTAiRMAX.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  no  questions  to  ask  Mr. 
Wood,  but  I  would  like  to  commend  this  gentleman  for  the  w^ork  that 
he  is  doing  out  there,  for  the  vigorous  energy  that  he  has  piled  into 
this  work,  and  remind  you  with  a  great  deal  of  pride  that  Mr.  Wood 
is  a  Pennsylvanian  and  has  exhibited  here  some  very  rugged  Pennsyl- 
vanian  characteristics. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  ]Mr.  AVood,  I  have  been  much  interested  in  your  state- 
ment to  the  eft'ect  that  you  have  neither  writers  nor  actors  on  your 
pay  roll  having  Communist  tendencies. 

Mr.  AVooD.  Yes.  sir. 

Mr.  A^AiL.  I  take  it  you  heard  the  testimony  of  Mr.  Warner  this 
morning? 

Mr.  AA^ooD.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Vail.  If  so,  you  heard  Mr.  Warner  say  he  has  certain  scruples 
against  releasing  individuals  from  his  pay  roll  for  such  tendencies 
because  of  the  danger  of  depriving  them  of  their  livelihood. 

Mr.  AA''<ton.  AA'^ell,  you  would  liesitate  to  deprive  them  of  their  liv- 
ing, but  they  wouldn't  hesitate  to  take  your  living  or  anything  else 
away  from  3'ou,  because  they  do  it,  and  they  do  it  with  a  well-organ- 
ized system ;  not  only  in  the  case  of  a  writer  but  in  every  case  they 
deprive  people  of  work  whenever  they  can,  and  they  make  an  example 
(jf  keeping  their  own  people  working  to  frighten  people  into  join- 
ing them. 

Mr.  AVarner  did  clean  them  out ;  I  don't  care  what  he  said,  he  cleaned 
them  out. 

Mr.  \"ail.  I  take  it,  then,  you  do  not  subscribe  to  the  principle  that  he 
presented? 

Mr.  AA\)OD.  I  think  he  has  a  right  to  express  it  the  way  he  wants  to; 
but,  after  all.  he  cleaned  them  out,  and  that  is  the  main  thing  with  me. 

Mr.  Vail.  I  think  he  was  very  sincere. 

Mr.  AA^'ooD.  I  do,  too. 


66  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Vail.  I  know  he  is  sincere.  I  tliink  }ou  are.  too;  but,  of  course, 
■\ve  lirtve  the  pr<)l)lem  of  eliminatino;  the  Communist  element  from  not 
only  the  Hollywood  scene  but  also  other  scenes  in  America,  and  we  have 
to  have  the  f  idl  support  and  cooperation  of  the  executives  from  each  of 
those  divisions. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  am  sure  you  can  get  it  from  them. 

Mr,  Vail.  Do  you  belong  to  the  directors  group  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes. 

]Mr.  Vail.  Do  you  also  belong  to  the  producers  group  ? 

^Ir.  Wood.  No. 

Mr.  Vail.  Is  that  a  voluntary  act  of  your  own  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  think  so;  yes.  I  direct  my  own  pictures  as  a  director 
with  a  certain  code,  and  so  on,  and  I  think  it  is  better  for  me  to  stay  out 
as  a  director. 

Mr.  Vail.  If  you  have  succeeded  so  admirably  in  cleaning  out  the 
Communist  element  and  their  fellow  travelers  from  your  studio,  won't 
you  agree,  then,  it  is  possible  for  all  of  the  other  producers  to  do  like- 
wise? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  you  must  consider  that  I  am  just  one  outfit.  I  have 
one  writer;  I  may  have  two  writers  working,  and  that  is  the  limit. 
They  have  probably  40  or  50  of  them  working,  and  when  they  get 
around  to  it  I  think  you  will  get  action  from  those  gentlemen,  too. 
I  think  the  party  should  be  outlawed,  and  I  think  these  people  should 
be  labeled  as  agents  of  a  foreign  country,  and  let's  get  rid  of  them. 

Mr.  Vail.  I  thoroughly  agree  with  you  along  that  line.  I  think  com- 
munism is  treason  and  should  be  treated  as  such ;  but,  nevertheless,  you 
probably  know  from  the  hearings  of  this  connnittee  in  the  past  we  have 
had  some  very  prominent  people  in  this  countrv — peoj^le  for  wliose 
opinion  we  have  the  highest  respect — who  are  adamantly  opposed  to 
outlawing  the  organization  because  of  the  fact  that  it  would  send  their 
activities  underground. 

You  do  not  have  that  feeling  ? 

]Mr.  Wood.  No,  sir ;  I  haven't.  I  think  you  have  to  awaken  the  public 
to  the  fact  that  they  are  here  and  what  they  are  doing.  If  you  mention 
you  are  opposed  to  the  Communist  Party,  then  you  are  antilabor,  anti- 
Semitic,  or  anti-Negro,  and  you  will  end  up  being  called  a  Fascist,  but 
they  never  start  that  until  they  find  out  you  are  opposed  to  the  Com- 
munist Party  ;  but  if  you  wanted  to  drop  their  rompers  j^ou  would  find 
the  hammer  and  sickle  on  their  rear  ends,  I  think. 

Mr.  Vail.  Thank  you  very  much. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood  (Congressman).  Not  because  I  have  any  partiality  to- 
ward our  name,  INIr.  Wood 

Mr.  Wood.  We  ought  to  stick  together. 

Mr.  Wood  (Congressman).  But  I  do  desire  to  ask  j'ou  one  or  two 
questions. 

You  stated  in  your  testimony  that  in  your  opinion  these  people  who 
are  seeking  to  infiltrate  into  the  picture  industry,  and  other  activities 
in  America,  and  who  preach  doctrines  subversive  to  our  own  Govern- 
ment, are,  in  your  opinion,  agents  of  a  foreign  power.  Outside  of  the 
fact  that  they  are  actually  doing  the  things  they  are  doing,  have  you 
any  other  evidence  that  they  are  agents  of  a  foreign  government? 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  67 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  I  tliink  if  you  are  taking  your  orders  from  a  for- 
eign country  you  nnist  be  an  agent  of  that  foreign  country,  and  there 
is  no  question  about  tlie  Conniuinist  Party.  It  is  not  a  local  thing.  If 
it  was  a  political  party  and  had  the  same  ideals  and  ideas,  and  put  them 
on  a  platform,  I  wouldn't  o})en  my  mouth ;  but  I  don't  think  they  have 
their  own  ideas ;  I  think  they  get  their  orders  and  follow  them  out.  If 
they  thought  that  their  way  of  handling  the  situation  was  better  than 
ours,  I  wouldn't  say  anything,  but  I  don't  think  they  have  any  right 
to  be  permitted  to  go  on  and  try  and  tear  this  country  down  and  give 
us  what  Russia  has. 

Mr.  Wood  (Congressman).  Do  you  mean  by  that  you  feel  that  each 
of  them,  the  rank  and  lile,  are  getting  orders  directly  from  the  for- 
eign government  ? 

Mv.  Wood.  No;  I  don't  think  they  get  orders,  personally;  they  take 
orders  from  the  heads.  They  just  give  them  their  orders  and  tell 
them  what  to  do,  and  they  do  it. 

Mr.  Wood  (Congressman).  Do  you  think  they  are  all  conscious  of 
the  fact  that  they  are  doing  that  under  orders  from  a  foreign  power? 

Mr.  Wood.  We  have  ti'ied  to  figure  out  why  they  do  it — why  they 
take  the  abuse  and  give  the  money  away  they  do.  We  can't  figure  it 
out,  except  that  maybe  they  think  if  anything  happens  they  are  going 
to  be  the  commissars  here — they  are  going  to  be  the  executives  of  the 
studios. 

Some  of  them,  I  think,  want  to  be  intellectuals.  I  think  they  have 
different  reasons;  but  we  cannot  quite  figure  out  how  they  can  dom- 
inate these  people,  Americans,  ancl  make  them  do  the  things  they  do. 
There  are  some  of  them  back  there  now. 

The  CiiAiiorAN.  We  will  take  care  of  them  when  their  turn  comes. 

Mv.  Wood.  I  will  help  you,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood  (Congressman).  If  they  were  all  eliminated  from  the 
picture,  would  it,  in  your  opinion,  weaken  the  effectiveness  of  the  pic- 
ture industry  or  the  purpose  for  which  it  is  organized  ? 

Mr.  AVoOD.  Definitely  not.  There  are  only  a  few  of  them.  There 
are  some  stars  that  are  important,  yes;  but  the  rest  of  them  wouldn't 
make  a  bit  of  difference,  we  wouldn't  Ivuow  they  were  gone.  We  have 
lost  some  very  fine  peo^^le  in  this  business.  The  greatest  man  we 
ever  had  in  the  business  was  Irving  Thalberg.  He  died.  It  was  a 
great  loss.  These  other  people,  we  wouldn't  know  they  were  out  of 
here.  If  they  went  back  to  Russia — and  I  hope  they  do — we  would  be 
better  off,  that  is  all. 

Mr,  Wood  (Congressman).  Mr.  Chairman,  for  myself  I  desire  to 
extend  my  personal  thanks  to  Mr.  Wood  for  his  courageous  and  efficient 
manner  in  appearing  before  the  committee. 

The  CiiAiK^iAX.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Striplixct.  Mr.  Wood,  do  the  Communists  maintain  any  schools 
or  laboratories  in  Hollywood  for  the  purpose  of  training  actors  or 
writers  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes;  they  have  a  laboratory  theater  there. 

Mr.  Striplixo.  What  is  the  function  of  this  theater? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  in  the  old  days  we  used  to  have  youngsters  who 
had  a  chance  to  study  to  become  actors  and  actresses  through  the  stock 
companies.     Every  city  had  two  or  three  stock  companies,  but  now 


68  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

most  of  tlioni  liave  been  eliminated.  They  have  to  go  to  these  schools. 
They  put  on  plays.  They  get  parts,  they  study  and  become  efficient, 
and  we  see  them  in  the  theaters,  or  see  them  in  some  Pasadena  play- 
house, or  something  like  that,  but  the  laboratory  theater.  I  think,  is 
very  definitely  under  the  control  of  the  Comnumist  Party  and  the 
people  that  teach  there.  Any  kid  that  goes  in  there  with  American 
ideals  hasn't  a  chance  in  the  world. 

There  is  another  thing  that  worries  me  and  that  is  the  art  centers. 
I  think  most  of  these  places  are  partly  supported  by  the  GI,  and  I 
think  those  boys  are  getting  some  poison  that  is  not  good  for  them. 

Then  Ave  have  the  educational  center  out  there 

Mr.  Stkipling.  Is  that  the  Peoples  Educational  Center? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes.  Eddie  Dmytryk — I  referred  to  him — is  the  in- 
structor there,  so  you  get  an  idea  of  what  they  are  getting  to. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  he  a  director? 

Mr.  Wood.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  the  Peoples  Educational  Cen- 
ter is  a  successor  to  the  School  for  Writers  of  the  League  of  American 
Writers  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  didn't  get  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  the  Peoples  Educational 
Center  is  a  successor  to  the  School  for  Writers  of  the  League  of 
American  Writers  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  am  not  quite  sure  of  that.  I  think  some  of  the  other 
men  from  our  organization  who  will  follow  may  have  the  facts  on 
t  hose  things. 

Mr.  Stripling.  All  right. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  am  sorry  I  cannot  give  it  to  you. 

Mr.  STRiPLiN(i.  I'hose  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Does  anv  other  member  have  any  other  questions? 

Mr,  McDowell  ? 

Mr!  McDowKLL.  Have  you  read  Trostky's  book,  ''Stalin?" 

Mr.  Wood.  No, 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  said  here  a  moment  ago  you  had  termed  anti- 
Semitic  and  Fascist.  Trostky  named  Stalin  time  after  time  after 
time,  in  his  book,  as  being  anti-Semitic,  so  on  that  point  alone  you 
and  Stalin  stand  together? 

Mr.  Wood.  That  doesn't  stop  there.  There  are  personal  matters 
and  everything  else.     We  are  constantly  being  threatened,  and  so  on. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  AVood,  to  use  the  slang  expression,  you  really 
lay  it  on  the  line.  If  the  great,  great  majority  of  persons  in  industry, 
labor,  and  education  showed  the  same  amount  of  courage  that  you 
show  we  would  not  have  to  worry  about  commamism  or  fascism  in  this 
country.     In  other  words,  you've  got  guts. 

Mr.  Wood.  Thank  you  very  much.  You  Avill  find  the  men  in  our 
organization  have  the  same,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairuum,  I  want  the  record  to  show  jSIr.  Wood 
is  here  in  response  to  a  subpena  which  was  served  upon  him.^'' 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you. 
(Witness  excused.) 


"  See  appendix,  p.  524,  for  exhibit  19. 


I 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  69 

Mr.  ^TKii'LiNG.  The  next  witness,  Mr,  Chairman,  will  be  Mr.  Louis 
li.  Mayer. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Mr.  Mayer,  will  you  raise  your  right  hand,  please. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  swear  to  tell  the  truth,  the  whole  truth, 
and  nothino;  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  do. 

TESTIMONY  OF  LOUIS  B.  MAYER 

Mr.  Strh'ling.  Mr.  Mayer,  will  you  state  your  full  name,  please'^ 

Mr.  Mayer.  Louis  Burt  Mayer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  j^ou  born,  Mr.  Mayer? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  was  born  in  Russia  and  came  to  this  country  when  I 
was  an  infant;  I  came  to  Canada  and  from  Canada  here. 

Mr,  Striplin(j.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  interrogation  of  Mr.  Mayer  will 
be  done  by  Mr.  Smith. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  would  like  for  the  record  to  show 
Mr.  Mayer  is  accompanied  by  counsel,  Mr.  McNutt.  Mr.  McNutt  was 
with  Mr.  Warner  this  morning.  Do  you  care  for  any  further  identifi- 
cation of  Mr.  McNutt? 

The  Chairman.  Nothing  further, 

Mr,  Wood,  Is  Mr,  Mayer  here  under  subpena  ? 

Mr,  Stripling.  ]\Ir.  Mayer  is  here  under  subpena,  Mr.  Wood." 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Mayer,  will  jon  tell  us  what  your  present  occupa- 
tion is,  j)lease  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  am  head  of  the  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  studios,  Culver 
City,  Calif. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  have  you  been  associated  with  the  motion- 
picture  industry? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Well,  in  producing,  for  about  25  years;  in  all  branches, 
about  40  years.     In  1907  is  when  I  started, 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  tell  us  some  of  the  positions  you  have  held 
prior  to  your  present  position? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  ran  a  motion-picture  theater,  dramatic  houses,  vaude- 
ville houses,  distributed  pictures  in  Boston  and  came  west  to  produce. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  many  people  are  employed  at  M-G-M,  approxi- 
matel3\  at  the  present  time? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Between  four  and  five  thousand. 

Mr.  Smith.  Approximately  how  manj'  pictures  do  they  make  each 
year? 

Mr.  Mayer.  It  varies  from  25  to  50. 

Mr.  Smith.  Could  you  give  the  committee  an  idea  of  the  gross  in- 
come of  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  over  1  year,  or  over  a  number  of 
years? 

Mr.  Mayer.  That  I  don't  know,  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Smith.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  is  the  largest,  or  at  least  one  of 
the  large  studios  in  the  motion-picture  business;  is  that  right? 

Mr.  jNIayer.  It  is  considered  so.  sir.  I  believe. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Maj^er,  as  the  chairman  stated  this  morning — and 
I  believe  you  were  present  at  the  time — the  purpose  of  this  inquiry  is  to 

'■•  See  appendix,  p.  524.  for  exhibit  20. 


70  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

determine  the  extent  of  Communist  infiltration  into  the  motion-picture 
industry. 

Since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood  have  you  had  an  opportunity 
and  have  you  observed  whether  or  not  tliere  is  any  Communist  infil- 
tration into  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Could  I  read  a  statement,  Mr.  Chairman? 

The  Chairman.  May  I  see  the  statement,  please  ? 

Mr.  Mater,  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman,  Yes ;  that  will  be  all  right.^^ 

Mr.  Mayer.  Communism  to  me  is  so  completely  opposed  to  the  prin- 
ciples of  democratic  government  that  I  welcome  the  opportunity  pro- 
vided by  this  committee  to  be  of  any  service  possible  to  bring  out  the 
true  facts  concerning  reported  infiltration  of  un-American  ideology 
into  motion  pictures. 

Like  others  in  the  motion-picture  industry,  I  have  maintained  a 
relentless  vigilance  against  un-American  influences.  If,  as  has  been 
alleged,  Communists  have  attempted  to  use  the  screen  for  subversive 
purposes,  I  am  proud  of  our  success  in  circumventing  them. 

I  have  abundant  reason  to  cherish  the  blessings  of  our  democracy, 
and  to  resist  with  all  my  strength  any  effort  to  undermine  it.  I  join 
with  this  committee  in  every  determination  to  safeguard  the  precious 
freedom  entrusted  to  us. 

During  my  25  years  in  the  motion-picture  industry  I  have  always 
souixht  to  maintain  the  screen  as  a  force  for  public  good. 

The  motion-picture  industry  employs  many  thousands  of  people. 
As  is  the  case  with  the  newspaper,  radio,  publishing,  and  theater 
businesses,  we  cannot  be  responsible  for  the  political  views  of  each 
individual  employee.  It  is,  however,  our  complete  responsibility  to 
determine  what  appears  on  the  motion-picture  screen. 

It  is  my  earnest  hope  tliat  this  committee  will  perform  a  public 
service  by  recommending  to  the  Congress  legislation  establishing  a 
national  policy  regulating  employment  of  Communists  in  private  in- 
dustry. It  is' my  belief  they  should  be  denied  the  sanctuary  of  the 
freedom  they  seek  to  destroy. 

Communism  is  based  upon  a  doctrine  inconsistent  with  American 
liberty.  It  advocates  destruction  of  the  sj^stem  of  free  enterprise 
under  which  our  industry  has  achieved  popularity  among  the  freedom- 
loving  peoples  of  the  world. 

Our  hatred  of  communism  is  returned  in  full  measure.  The  Com- 
munists attack  our  screen  as  an  instrument  of  capitalism.  Few,  if 
any,  of  our  films  ever  reach  Eussia.  It  hates  us  because  it  fears  us. 
We  show  too  much  of  the  American  way  of  life,  of  human  dignity,  of 
the  opportunity  and  the  happiness  to  be  enjoyed  in  a  democracy. 

]More  than  any  other  country  in  the  world,  we  have  enjoyed  the 
fullest  freedom  of  speech  in  all  means  of  communication.  It  is  this 
freedom  that  has  enabled  the  motion  picture  to  carry  the  message  to 
the  world  of  our  democratic  way  of  life. 

The  primary  function  of  motion  pictures  is  to  bring  entertainment 
to  the  screen.  But,  like  all  other  industries,  we  were  lending  every 
support  to  our  Government  in  the  war  effort,  and  whenever  a  subject 
could  be  presented  entertaining,  we  tried,  insofar  as  possible,  to 
cooperate  in  building  morale. 

^=  See  appendix,  p.  525,  for  exhibit  21. 


I 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  71 

Metro-Goklwyn-]Mayer  produced  Joe  Smitli  American  as  a  defense- 
worker  incentive.  There  were  a  number  of  films  produced  for  the 
Army  and  Navy.  Then,  there  was  Mrs.  Miniver,  wliich  was  rushed 
into  release  at  the  urgent  request  of  the  United  States  oflicials  to 
meet  the  rising  tide  of  anti-English  feeling  that  followed  the  fall  of 
Tobruk. 

There  were  a  number  of  representatives  of  the  Government  who 
made  i)eriodical  visits  to  the  studios  during  the  war.  They  discussed 
with  us  from  time  to  time  the  types  of  pictures  which  they  felt  might 
assist  the  war  eifort.  They  were  coordinators  and  at  no  time  did 
they  attempt  to  tell  us  what  we  should  or  should  not  do.  We  made 
our  own  decisions  on  production.  We  are  proud  of  our  war  efforts 
and  the  results  speak  for  themselves. 

Mention  has  been  made  of  the  picture  Song  of  Russia,  as  being 
friendly  to  Russia  at  the  time  it  was  made.  Of  course  it  was.  It 
was  made  to  be  friendly.  In  1938  we  made  Ninotchka,  and  shortly 
thereafter  Comrade  X,  with  Clark  Gable  and  Hecly  Lamarr — both 
of  these  films  kidded  Russia. 

It  was  in  April  of  1942  that  the  story  for  Song  of  Russia  came  to 
our  attention.  It  seemed  a  good  medium  of  entertainment  and  at  the 
same  time  offered  an  opportunity  for  a  pat  on  the  back  for  our  then 
ally,  Russia.  It  also  offered  an  opportunity  to  use  the  music  of 
Tschaikowsky.  We  mentioned  this  to  the  Government  coordinators 
and  they  agreed  with  us  that  it  would  be  a  good  idea  to  make  the 
picture. 

According  to  research  I  have  made,  our  newspapers  were  headlining 
the  desperate  situation  of  the  Russians  at  Stalingrad  at  that  time. 
Admiral  Standley,  American  Ambassador  to  the  Soviet  Union,  made 
a  vigorous  plea  for  all-out  aid.  He  pleaded  for  assistance  second  only 
to  the  supplies  being  provided  the  United  States  Fleet,  and  empha- 
sized that  the  best  way  to  win  the  war  was  to  keep  the  Russians  killing 
the  Germans,  and  that  the  most  effective  way  was  to  give  them  all  the 
help  they  needed. 

The  United  States  Army  Signal  Corps  made  The  Battle  of  Stalin- 
grad, released  in  1943,  with  a  prolog  expressing  high  tribute  from 
President  Roosevelt,  our  Secretaries  of  State,  War,  and  Navy,  and 
from  Generals  IMarshall  and  MacArthur. 

The  final  script  of  Song  of  Russia  was  little  more  than  a  pleasant 
musical  romance — the  story  of  a  boy  and  girl  that,  except  for  the  music 
of  Tschaikowsk3%  might  just  as  well  have  taken  place  in  Switzerland 
or  England  or  any  other  country  on  the  earth. 

I  though  Robert  Taylor  ideal  for  the  leading  male  role  in  Song  of 
Russia,  but  he  did  not  like  the  story.  This  was  not  unusual  as  actors 
and  actresses  many  times  do  not  care  for  stories  suggested  to  them. 

At  the  time,  Taylor  mentioned  his  pending  commission  in  the  Navy, 
so  I  telephoned  the  Secretary  of  the  Nav}^,  Frank  Knox,  and  told  him 
of  the  situation,  recalling  the  good  that  had  been  accomplished  with 
Mrs.  JNIiniver  and  other  pictures  released  during  the  war  period.  The 
Secretary  called  back  and  said  he  thought  Taylor  could  be  given  time 
to  make  the  film  before  being  called  to  the  service.  Accordingly, 
Taylor  made  the  picture. 

Since  1942  when  the  picture  was  planned,  our  relationship  with 
Russia  has  changed.     But  viewed  in  the  light  of  the  war  emergency 


72  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

iit  the  time,  it  is  my  opinion  that  it  could  not  be  construed  as  anything 
other  than  for  the  entertainment  purpose  intended  and  a  pat  on  the 
back  for  our  then  ally,  Russia. 

I  am  proud  of  tlie  motion-picture  industry;  proud  of  its  record  in 
war  and  peace.  With  press  and  radio,  it  shares  today  a  solemn  trust — 
to  preserve  our  sacred  freedom  of  speech  and  fight  with  our  every 
energy  any  attempt  to  use  that  freedom  as  a  cloak  for  subversive 
assassins  of  liberty. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Mayer,  since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood,  have 
you  observed  whether  or  not  there  are  any  efforts  on  behalf  of  Com- 
munists to  infiltrate  themselves  into  the  motion-picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  M.wER.  I  have  been  told  many  times  about  Communists.  I  have 
never  feared  them.  They  can't  get  a  single  thing  into  our  pictures  or 
our  studio  under  our  set-up. 

Mr.  Smith.  AVhy  is  that  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Because  the  only  ones  that  I  wouhl  have  to  worry  about 
are  the  producers,  the  editors,  the  execctives,  because  our  scripts  are 
read  and  re-read  by  so  many  of  the  executive  force,  producers  and 
editors,  that  if  you  looked  carefully  at  1,200  or  1,500  pictures  I  pro- 
duced with  my  people  out  at  the  studio  you  would  be  surprised  how 
little  you  could  possibly  point  to,  even  now,  when  we  are  on  the  lookout 
for  it,  particularly  at  this  time. 

Mr.  Smith.  It  is  necessary  to  employ  certain  personnel  to  keep  the 
Communists  from  trying  to  get  information  into  the  pictures? 

Mr.  Mayer.  No ;  we  don't  engage  anybody.  These  men  are  supposed 
to  figure  out  what  will  make  a  good  picture.  If  they  should  find  any- 
thing detrimental  to  the  American  Government  or  the  Congress  I 
would  never  allow  anything  against  anybody  in  our  Government  or 
in  our  Congress.  I  would  never  allow  them  to  have  a  laugh  at  such  a 
serious  price, 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  there  any  Communists,  to  3'our  knowledge,  in  Metro- 
Goldwyn-Mayer  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  They  have  mentioned  two  or  three  writers  to  me  several 
times.  There  is  no  proof  about  it,  except  they  mark  them  as  Com- 
munists, and  when  I  look  at  the  pictures  they  have  written  for  us  I 
can't  find  once  where  they  have  written  something  like  that.  Whether 
they  think  they  can't  get  away  with  it  in  our  place,  or  what,  I  can't  tell 
yoii,  but  there' are  the  pictures  and  they  will  speak  for  themselves.  I 
have  as  much  contempt  for  them  as  much  as  anybody  living  in  this 
world. 

Mr.  Smith.  WHio  are  these  people  they  have  named? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Truinbo  and  Lester  Cole'^  they  said.  I  think  there  was 
one  other  fellow,  a  third  one. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  that  Dalton  Trumbo  you  are  speaking  of? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  his  position,  please? 

Mr.  Mayer.  He  is  a  writer. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  Lester  Cole? 

Mr.  Mayer.  A  writer. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  observed  any  efforts  on  their  part  to  get  Com- 
munist propaganda  into  their  pictures? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  have  never  heard  of  any. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  personally  read  the  scripts? 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  73 

Mr.  Mayer.  Some  of  them  ;  a  great  many. 

Mr.  Smh-h.  Do  you  personally  know  if  any  efforts  were  made  to  get 
Conmiunist  pr()pa<jjanda  into  the  })i('tures? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  caii<;ht  somethin<5  in  a  script  recently  that  was  any- 
thino;  but  Communist  connected.  They  are  just  as  violent  against 
them  as  I  or  you  and  yet  there  were  two  scenes  and  they  couldn't 
believe  I  was  right  and  1  had  to  read  it  to  them.  They  were  not  Com- 
munists who  wrote  it.  But  they  set  the  scenes  perfectly  and  we  changed 
it  and  took  it  out.  "VVe  found  some  other  medium  to  correct  the 
situation. 

Mr.  Smith.  The  third  individual  you  mentioned,  would  that  be 
Donald  Ogden  Stewart  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  know  what  salaries  these  men  are  paid? 

Mr,  Mayh^r.  I  don't  know  ofFliand.  Two  of  them  are  very  high, 
Stewart  and  Trumbo. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  here,  in  answer  to  a  subpena,  the 
official  records  of  the  salaries  paid  Mr.  Dalton  Trumbo,  Mr.  Lester 
Cole,  and  Donald  Ogden  Stewart  over  a  period  of  the  last  5  years, 
which  information  I  would  like  to  submit  at  this  time  for  the  record.^'* 

The  Chairmax.  Without  objection,  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Smith.  Dalton  Trumbo,  during  the  vear  1943,  received  $76,250 ; 
during  1944,  $39,000;  in  1945,  $95,000;  "in  1946,  $71,000;  in  1947, 
to  and  including  October  4,  1947,  $85,000. 

Mi%  Mayer.  I  don't  think  that  is  all,  Mr.  Smith.  They  work  in 
other  studios  also  during  tlie  same  year. 

Mr.  Smith.  This  is  from  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes;  but  they  probably  earn  much  more  than  that  dur- 
ing that  same  period. 

Mr.  Smith.  On  Lester  Cole,  who  has  not  been  employed  at  Metro- 
Goldwyn-Mayer  for  a  ]:)eriod  of  5  years,  his  record  is  1945  to  and 
including  October  4,  1947.  The  record  reflects  that  from  Metro- 
Goklwvn-Mayer  pictures  in  1945  his  salary  was  $33,491.67;  in  1946, 
$53,666.67 ;  in  1947,  to  and  including  October  4,  $43,700. 

Donald  Ogden  Stewart,  in  1943,  from  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,  $40,- 
000;  in  1944.  $-27,083.33;  in  1946,  $65,000;  in  1947,  to  and  including 
October  4,  $17,500. 

Mr.  Mayer,  these  individuals  that  have  been  mentioned  as  being 
reported  to  you  as  Communists,  do  you  think  the  studios  should  con- 
tinue to  employ  those  individuals? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  have  a.sked  counsel.  They  claim  that  unless  you  can 
prove  they  are  Connnunists  they  could  hold  you  for  damages.  Sat- 
urday when  I  arrived  here  I  saw  in  the  papers  a  case  where  the  high 
court  of  XeAv  York  State  just  held  you  could  not  even  say  a  man  was 
a  Connnunist  sympathizer  without  bein<r  liable  if  you  cannot  prove  it. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith,  may  I  ask  a  question  right  there? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  If  you  were  shown  the  Communist  dues  cards  of  any 
one  of  the.se  three  individuals,  then  would  you  continue  to  employ 
them  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  No,  sir. 


See  appendix,  p.  .525.  for  exliibits  22-24. 


74  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE    INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Smith.  By  the  same  token.  Mr.  Mayer,  would  you  employ  a 
Bundist,  a  known  member  of  the  Bund? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  have  prol)ably  had  them;  I  wouldn't  employ  him 
knowingly;  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  At  the  present  time? 

Mr.  Mayer.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  SatiTH.  Ts  it  correct  from  your  testimony  that  a  great  effort  or 
considerable  effort  is  made  by  the  studios  to  keep  Communist  writers 
or  persons  alleged  to  be  Communist  writers  from  injecting  propaganda 
into  the  pictures  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  We  haven't  had  that  problem  in  our  studio.  I  heard 
Mr.  Warner  testify  this  morning.  He  says  he  has  had  it,  but  I  can't 
say  I  have  had  it. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  miderstood  you  to  say  it  is  impossible  for  them  to  get 
material  into  the  pictures  because  you  have  a  number  of  readers  and 
other  individuals  that  are  always  checking  on  them;  that  you.  vour- 
self,  recently  observed  some  material  that  might  have  been,  although 
under  the  circumstances  surrounding  the  writer  it  obviously  was  not. 

What  I  would  like  to  determine  from  you  is  what  do  you  think 
will  happen  in  a  period  of  5,  6,  or  7  years  if  these  individuals  keep  on 
infiltrating,  one,  two,  three,  and  four,  and  so  on  ?  At  that  time  maybe 
we  won't  have  individuals  that  can  keep  this  information  out  of  your 
pictures. 

jNIr.  Mayer.  I  am  just  hopeful,  like  I  told  you  in  California.  ]Mr. 
Smith,  that  perhaps  out  of  this  hearing  will  come  a  recommendation 
to  the  Congress  for  legislation  on  which  there  can  be  no  question  and 
they  will  give  us  a  policy  as  to  how  to  handle  American  citizens  who 
do  not  deserve  to  be  American  citizens,  and  if  they  are  Communists 
how  to  get  them  out  of  our  place. 

Mr.  Smith.  Going  back  to  the  picture  Song  of  Russia,  I  notice  in 
your  statement,  Mr.  JSIayer,  you  state  : 

The  final  script  of  Song  of  Russia  was  little  more  than  a  pleasant  musical 
romance — the  story  of  a  boy  and  girl  that,  except  ff)r  the  nmsic  of  Tschaikowsky, 
might  just  as  well  have  taken  place  in  Switzerland  or  England  or  any  other 
country  on  the  earth. 

Is  that  3'our  definite  opinion  on  that  particular  picture? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Basically,  yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Don't  you  feel  the  picture  had  scene  after  scene  that 
grossly  misrepresented  Russia  as  it  is  today,  or  as  it  was  at  that  time? 

Mr.  ISIayer.  I  never  was  in  Russia,  but  3^011  tell  me  how  you  would 
make  a  picture  laid  in  Russia  that  would  do  any  different  than  what 
we  did  there? 

Mr.  Smith.  Don't  you  feel  from  what  you  have  read,  and  from  what 
you  have  heard  from  other  people,  that  the  scenes  just  did  not  depict 
Russia  in  one  iota  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  We  did  not  attempt  to  depict  Russia :  we  attempted  to 
show  a  Russian  girl  entreating  this  American  conductor  to  conduct 
a  concert  in  her  village  where  they  have  a  musical  festival  every  year 
and  as  it  inevitably  happens  this  girl  fell  in  love  with  the  conductor, 
and  he  with  her.  Then  we  showed  the  attack  of  the  Germans  on  the 
Russians  and  the  war  disrupted  this  union. 

Mr.  Smith.  The  original  story  was  written  by  whom,  Mr.  Mayer  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  don't  recall  now. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  75 

Mr.  Smith.  I  believe  it  was  written  by  Mr.  Lester  Mittler  and  Victor 
Trivas  as  The  Scorched  Earth. 

]\Ir.  INIayer.  I  think  so. 

Mr.  SMrrii.  Then  it  was  assij^ned  to  two  writers  to  write  the  first 
script.    Do  yon  recall  those  two  individnals? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Xo  ;  bnt  Joe  l*asternak  is  the  producer  who  got  inter- 
ested in  that. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  believe  the  script  sliows  it  was  written  by  Paul  Jarrico 
and  Richard  Collins.    Would  that  be  correct? 

Mr.  Mayer.  If  it  says  so ;  yes. 

]\Ir.  Smith.  Did  you  read  the  first  script,  Mr.  Mayer? 

Mr.  Mayer.   Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  was  your  opinion  at  that  time? 

Mr.  Mayer.  They  had  farm  collectivism  in  it  and  I  threw  it  out 
and  said,  'This  wilTnot  be  made  until  they  give  me  the  story  they  told 
me  originally  when  I  approved  the  making  of  it." 

Mr.  Smitii.  In  other  words,  the  first  script,  in  your  opinion,  was 
not  producible? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Not  the  first. 

Mr.  Smith.  Wlw  not  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Because  I  will  not  preach  any  ideology  except  American, 
and  I  don't  even  treat  tb.at.  I  let  that  take  its  own  course  and  speak 
for  itself. 

Mr.  Smith.  That  showed  an  ideology  or  condition,  so  far  as  Russia 
is  concerned,  that  you  did  not  approve  of? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  wouldn't  have  it. 

Mr.  S:\iith.  As  to  the  last  script  then,  was  the  script,  in  your  opinion, 
satisfactoril}'  cleaned  up? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  think  so ;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  Who  was  responsible,  if  you  know,  for  taking  the 
collectivism  and  other  things  out  of  the  script? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  ordered  it  out.  and  the  producer  said  it  would  all  be 
rewritten,  and  it  was.  That  is  why  Taylor  was  delayed  getting  into 
the  service. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  ask  a  question  right  there  ? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Maj^er,  you  say  the  main  reason  why  Taylor 
was  delayed  getting  into  the  service  was  because  the  first  script  had 
these  foreign  ideologies  in  it  and  was  not  acceptable  to  you,  so  there 
was  this  delay? 

Mr.  Mayer.   Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  Did  a  Government  representative  ever  come  to  you, 
Mr.  Mayer,  about  that  picture,  as  to  the  making  of  it? 

Mr.  INIayer.  I  don't  recall  anybod}^  coming  about  the  making  of  it. 
I  think  I  told  them  about  it  or  discussed  it  with  thein.  So  much  hap- 
pened in  that  period,  coming  and  going.  They  had  an  office  out 
there — War  Information,  I  think  they  called  themselves. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  seen  the  picture  recently,  Mr.  Mayer? 

!Mr.  Mayer.    Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  are  your  feelings  about  the  picture,  as  to  the  dam- 
age it  might  cause  to  the  people  in  the  United  States,  that  is,  misleading 
them  as  to  conditions  in  Russia? 

Mr.  Mayer,  What  scenes  are  you  referring  to  ? 


76  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  recall  scenes  in  tliere  at  tlie  night  club  where 
everybody  was  drinking? 

Mr.  Mayer.  They  do  in  Moscow. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  feel  that  that  represents  Russia  as  it  is  today? 

Mr.  Maykk.  1  didn't  make  it  as  it  is  today,  I  made  it  when  they 
were  our  ally  in  1943. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  feel  it  represents  Russia  in  1943  as  conditions 
were  in  Russia  ? 

Mr.  May'er.  That  is  what  I  understood,  that  they  go  to  night  clubs 
tliere  in  Moscow.  If  only  the  rest  of  the  Russians  had  a  chance  to 
do  the  same  thing,  it  would  be  fine,  but  they  don't.  This  ])icture  was 
laid  ill  Moscow. 

Mr.  Smith.  Has  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  ever  produced  an  anti- 
Communist  picture? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Would  you  tell  us  the  name  of  it? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Ninotchka.-  They  kidded  the  life  out  of  communism. 
It  was  Ninotchka,  with  Greta  (Grarbo.  We  had  a  big  deal  pending 
with  the  Soviets  for  (50  pictures,  I  think,  and  Mr.  Scates  decided  he 
better  show  it  to  these  commissars,  so  he  showed  it  to  them,  and  that 
was  the  end  of  the  deal. 

Then  another  one  was  Comrade  X,  in  which  Hedy  Lamar  was  a  con- 
ductor and  Clark  Gable  was  Comrade  X.  We  kidded  the  pants  off 
of  them  in  that  picture,  but  they  were  not  our  allies  then. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  making  any  anti-Communist  pictures  at  Metro- 
Goldwyn-Mayei-  at  the  present  time? 

Mr.  May'er.  I  think  the  one  we  are  going  to  start  shooting  promptly 
[laughter] — we  have  been  preparing  it  for  some  (>  months. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Mayer,  these  hearings  haven't  anything  to  do 
with  the  promptness,  have  they? 

Mr.  May'i:r.  No,  no;  it  is  just  out  now,  called  Vespers  in  Vienna. 
The  script  is  about  ready.  The  original  title  was  The  Red  Danube. 
The  Book  of  the  Month  Club  wanted  the  other  title,  and  so  we  agreed 
with  the  author  that  the  publisher  use  the  other  title  "Vespers  in 
Vienna."  It  takes  several  months  to  lick  a  big  book  like  that,  but  it 
is  almost  ready  to  start  production. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Mayer,  are  you  fainiiiai-  with  tlie  picture  Ten- 
nessee Johnson  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes.  sir;  we  made  it. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  recall  at  the  time  you  made  it,  or  just  before, 
did  you  receive  any  protests  from  any  individuals  in  the  studio  against 
making  the  picture? 

Mr.  Mayer.  There  was  quite  a  lot  of  confusion  about  that  picture, 
and  I  think  I  yelled  as  loud  as  anybody  about  some  scenes  which  I 
didn't  think  were  good. 

Mr.  Smith.  Why  w^as  that  ? 

yir.  Mayer.  AVell.  because  I  didn't  believe  it. 

Mr.  Smith.  Did  you  receive  a  protest  from  any  individuals,  do  you 
recall? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  don't  recall,  Mr.  Smith.  If  you  will  remind  me,  I 
will  be  glad  to  tell  you. 

Mr,  Smith.  That  is  all  the  questions  at  this  time. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  77 

Mr.  McDowEi.L.  What  was  the  name  of  this  picture  yon  are  talking 
about  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Tennessee  Johnson. 

The  CiiAiK]\rAN.  Is  tliat  all  tlie  (juestions  you  have  at  this  time? 

Mr.  SMrrii.  It  is;  yes,  sir. 

The  C^HAiRMAx.  ]\Ir.  Wotxl. 

Mr.  AVooi).  Since  you  have  been  in  the  production  business,  Mr. 
ISIaj^er,  ai)proximately  how  many  pictures  have  you  made? 

Mr.  Mayeh.  About"  1,200.  ])]-ol)"ably. 

Mr.  Wood.  AVhat  criticism,  if  any,  has  there  been  from  the  public 
or  the  j)ress  oi'  the  (lovernment  leveled  against  any  of  them  that  you 
have  made? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Well.  Mr.  C'onoressman,  we  have  always  received  great 
approbation,  until  this  tiling  s-tarted,  about  this  picture  Song  of 
Russia. 

Mr.  Wool).  Well,  about  the  time  that  you  made  Song  of  Russia — by 
the  way,  at  that  time  we  w^ere  engaged  in  a  war  in  which  Russia  was 
one  of  our  allies,  is  that  correct  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  Perhaps  that  is  one  of  the  reasons  that  the  committee 
wanted  to  hear  from  you.  with  reference  to  the  underlying  reasons 
that  prompted  the  production  of  that  particular  picture.  Can  you 
give  us  any  more  enlightenment  on  that  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes.  As  I  told  you,  we  made  Joe  Smith,  the  American, 
which  was  an  incentive  to  war  workers.  Then  we  made  one  that  the 
(Tovermnent  was  terribly  anxious  to  have  made,  those  who  used  to  come 
and  visit  us,  to  show  the  industrial  strength  of  America.  We  called 
that  picture  American  Romance,  in  technicolor.  It  showed  an  immi- 
grant, coming  from  Sweden,  getting  b}^  the  Statue  of  Liberty.  And 
through  Ellis  Island,  he  walks  out  to  Minnesota,  to  the  iron  mines, 
where  he  had  some  relations — walking  across  the  country,  getting  a 
ride  here  and  there.  He  became  a  Henry  Ford  under  our  system, 
Avhicli  makes  that  possible.     He  became  a  great  industrialist. 

Mr.  Wood.  That  was  the  American 

Mr.  Mayer.  American  Romance,  in  technicolor. 

Mr.  W(h;d.  Mr.  Mayer,  I  believe  buck  in  May  of  this  year  you  made 
a  talk  before  tlie  Ne\vsi)aper  Advertising  Executives  Association,  in 
San  Francisco;  is  that  right? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes.  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  About  the  Tth  of  May,  was  it  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.   Yes,  sir;  I  think  it  was. 

Mr.  AVooD.  I  find  in  the  Congressional 

Mr.  Mayer.  July  7. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  find  in  the  Congressional  Record,  under  date  of  July 
1;")  of  this  year,  an  iiisei-tion  in  tlie  Congressional  Record  by  Hon.  Gor- 
d<m  L.  McDonald,  of  the  State  of  California,  of  what  jjurports  to  be  a 
copy  of  that  address.''    Have  you  read  it? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Xo,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  have  not  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  No,  sir. 


"  See  api)en(lix,  p.  525,  for  exhibit  2,' 
67683—47 — —6 


78  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Wood.  I  would  like  to  quote  from  some  portions  of  that  speech 
as  it  appears  in  the  Congressional  Record  and — by  the  way,  in  order 
to  have  it  inserted,  the  page  number  is  3727 — see  if  you  still  subscribe 
to  some  of  the  statements  you  made  in  that  address : 

More  precious  than  our  lives  we  hold  our  liberty,  a  liberty  that  means  free 
speech,  free  press,  the  rijiht  to  assemble  and  remonstrate  against  real  or  im- 
aginary wrongs  and  the  right  to  worship  in  any  shrine,  a  liberty  that  means  free 
enterprise  and  unlimited  opportunity,  a  liberty  that  lights  the  footsteps  of  the 
jtoor  boy  born  in  a  fioorless  cabin  in  Kentucky  as  brightly  and  as  happily  as  the 
boy  born  to  wealth  and  social  position. 

Mr.  INI.VYER.  Mr.  Congressman,  that  is  what  makes  us  great.  That 
would  niake  an}''  country  great  that  only  knew  how  to  appreciate  it. 

jMr.  AVooD.  You  still  subscribe  to  that  ? 

IVIr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  say,  then,  that  that  is  a  correct  quotation  of  your 
speech  in  San  Francisco  on  the  7th  of  May? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Seventh  of  July,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  Seventh  of  July. 

I  quote  again : 

There  is  a  heavy  responsibility  upon  the  producers  of  motion  pictures.  A 
motion  picture  cannot  only  afford  entertainmenj^  but  be  of  educational  value. 
In  this  crisis,  it  can  portray  fairly  and  honestly  the  American  ways  of  life  and 
ran  be  a  powerful  influence  in  the  life  of  millions  in  other  countries  who  are 
either  denied  access  to  our  waj'  of  life  or  who  never  had  the  opportunity  of 
experiencing  it. 

Do  you  still  feel  that  responsibility,  as  a  producer  of  motion 
pictures? 

INIr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  are  quoted  as  saying  further  in  that  address  that : 

In  common  with  newspajjers  and  radio,  the  screen  fights  the  battle  for  freedom 
of  speech.  Jefferson  said  that  "That  that  government  is  best  which  governs 
least."  Intelligent,  self-disciplined  industry  is  our  greatest  assurance  that  the 
freedom  guaranteed  us  by  our  Constitution  will  not  be  denied. 

Do  you  still  subscribe  to  that  doctrine? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  xVnd,  in  conclusion,  you  are  quoted  as  having  said  that: 

The  responsibility  is  great.  We  all  appreciate  that  responsibility.  It  is  my 
deep  and  solemn  conviction  that  the  Maker  of  the  Universe  intended  that  men 
should  be  free  and  not  slaves,  that  the  people  of  the  earth  should  enjoy  the  bounti- 
ful resources  which  nature  has  placed  under  every  sky,  that  men  and  women 
should  be  happy  and  not  oppressed,  and  that  there  should  be  a  song  of  peace  and 
good  will  in  every  heart. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  still  svibscribe  to  that? 

Mr.  ]\Iayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  were  quoted  somewhat  in  the  press  from  that  ad- 
dress. And  I  quote  from  one  of  the  daily  papers  in  New  York,  in 
which  you  are  quoted  as  having  said  that : 

The  otdy  interpretation  and  understanding  of  communism  that  is  worthy  of 
belief  by  the  American  people  is  that  it  threatens  the  way  of  life  upon  this 
entire  planet.  It  threatens  our  fundamental  concepts  of  human  rights  and 
liberties. 

Is  that  a  correct  quotation  of  the  sentiment  that  you  then  expressed? 
Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  79 

Mr,  Wood.  And  you  still  subscribe  to  it  ? 
Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  were  quoted  in  this  same  article  in  the  New  York 
newspaper  as  having  said  that : 

Soviet  Russia  innst  be  recognized  for  and  plainly  called  exactly  what  it  is 
in  terms  of  international  relationshiii — a  powerful  nation  that  challenges  and 
discredits  our  liberty  and  that  seeks  to  spread  its  influence  to  dominate  the  lives 
of  men  and  women  in  smaller  nations. 

Is  that  a  correct  quotation  of  the  sentiments  that  you  expressed  at 
that  time? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes.  sir. 

Mr.  Wood.  Now  I  will  ask  you  again,  Mr,  Mayer,  if  at  the  time  you 
took  into  your  employment  the  men  that  you  have  named  here  who 
you  say  have  now  been  designated  as  men  who  had  attained  communis- 
tic beliefs  you  knew  that  those  men  believed  in  and  subscribed  to 
a  doctrine  that  you  have  thus  announced,  in  the  excerpts  which  I 
read  to  you,  would  you  keep  tliem  in  your  employment? 

Mr.  Mayi]r.  No,  sir.     I  could  prove  it  then,  if  they  challenged  me. 

Mr,  Wood.  I  believe  that  is  all. 

The  Chairman.  Don't  you  have  any  more? 

Mr.  Wood.  That  is  all. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  ;  and  thank  you  very  much. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

]\Ir.  Vail.  I  have  one  question 

]Mr.  Wood.  By  the  way,  Mr.  Mayer,  one  more  question,  if  I  may. 

The  Chair:\ian.  Mr.  Wood  has  one  more  question. 

Mr.  AVood.  When  did  you  receive  the  subpena  to  appear  before  this 
committee? 

]Mr.  Mayer.  I  don't  remember  exactly  what  date. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  I  have  it  right  here,  Sir.  Chairman. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  STRiPLiN<i.  It  was  served  upon  Mr.  Mayer  on  September  29. 

Mr.  Wood.  All  right. 

Mr.  Mayer.  September  29. 

Mr.  Vail.  I  have  but  one  question  to  ask  of  Mr.  Mayer.  I  appreciaie 
that  his  answer  can  only  represent  his  opinion,  but  I  believe  that  it 
will  go  far  to  relieve  the  American  public  concerning  a  very  puzzling 
question.  Can  you  tell  us,  Mr.  Mayer,  just  what  motivates  these 
writers  and  these  actors  whose  incomes  are  in  astronomical  figures  to 
embrace  communism  and  to  seek  to  destroy  this  free  American  Govern- 
ment that  has  afforded  them  their  opportunity  and  has  given  them  the 
place  they  occupy  in  the  affections  of  the  public  and  positions  of 
power  and  affluence  t 

Mr.  Mayer.  My  own  opinion  is,  Mr.  Congressman,  which  I  have  ex- 
pressed many  times  in  discussion,  I  think  they  are  cracked.  It  can't 
be  otherwise. 

The  Chairman.  Anv  more  questions,  Mr.  Vail? 

:\Ir.  Vail.  No. 

The  Chairman.  Mi-.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Striplino.  Mr.  Mayer. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 


80  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stiupi.tng.  1  would  like  to  direct  some  questions  to  you  about 
Song  of  Kussia. 

Mr.  Maykr.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  1  realize  this  was  a  war  picture,  made  during  the 
war,  and  I  want  to  get  this  clear :  Was  this  picture  made  at  the  request 
of  the  Government  ? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  had  thought  originally  it  was.  I  tried  to  think  it  out 
as  to  who,  and  it  is  just  blank  to  me.  I  have  come  to  the  conclusion, 
by  talking  to  Mr,  Gates,  who  was  the  executive  in  charge  of  the  pro- 
ducer who  made  it,  and  talking  to  the  producer — he  claimed  that,  when 
he  started  with  me,  he  would  like  to  make  a  picture  with  Tchaikow- 
sky's  music  and  it  would  have  to  be  laid  in  Russia.  That  is  how  it  all 
got  started.  This  story  Scorched  Earth  was  dug  up  as  the  i)remise  on 
which  we  would  be  able  to  use  that  music.  I  recall  talking  to  some  of 
the  men  that  were  in  the  liaison  office  between  the  Government  and 
ourselves  about  the  picture  when  we  were  going  to  make  it.  I  know 
they  liked  the  idea  that  we  were  going  to  make  it  because  they  di<l 
want  a  pat  on  Russia's  back,  to  keep  them  fighting. 

If  you  don't  mind  my  saying  so,  I  have  got  to  confess  that  was  the 
only  time  in  my  life  that  I  gave  money  to  Russia,  and  if  I  were  to  be 
told  that  t2  years  ago.  God  lielp  the  one  that  asked  for  it.  But  when 
they  made  the  plea  that  we  must  go  out  and  help  Russia.  I  felt  that  I 
woidd  rather  they  kill  Russians  than  kill  Americans  and  I  gave  them 
money.  I  made  the  picture  with  the  same  spirit.  I  thought  Bob  Tay- 
lor, being  a  musician,  would  be  convincing  as  a  conductor. 

Mr.  Stkiplini;.  What  do  you  mean  by  making  the  picture  it  would 
keep  Russia  fighting? 

Mr.  Mayer.  It  would  show  our  feeling  that  we  appreciate  them. 
It  would  show  that  we  liked  the  Russian  ])eople  and  ai)plaud  their 
efforts  in  a  war.  It  was  pretty  dark  around  Stalingrad  there  at  that 
period.  It  was  for  the  same  reason  that  the  British  thought  it  was 
great  to  make  INIiniver,  to  show  the  American  people  the  courage  of  the 
English  people  in  taking  the  beating  that  they  took. 

Mr.  Striplixc;.  AVould  you  say,  however,  that  the  picture  Avas  made 
indei)endent  of  any  Government  suggestion? 

Mr.  Mayer.  Well.  I  exi)]aine(l  to  you,  to  the  best  of  my  recollec- 
tion  

Mr.  Striplinc;.  Yes;  but 

Mr.  Mayer.  They  were  glad  I  was  making  it:  I  remember  that. 
But  I  tried  to  figure  out  who  it  was,  if  anybody,  who  asked  me  to 
make  a  picture  about  Russia.  They  all  tried  to  assure  me  that  it 
was  the  other  way  around  :  That  when  I  told  them  I  was  going  to  make 
one,  wanted  to  make  one,  it  was  a  good  idea  to  pat  them  on  the  back. 

Mr.  Striplin(!.  Xow,  Mr.  Mayer,  on  May  14  the  subconnnittee  was 
sitting  in  Los  Angeles,  Calif.  The  witness  was  Mr.  Robert  Taylor, 
who  I  believe  is  under  contract  with  your  studio. 

INIr.  Mayer.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Striplino.  He  testified: 

For  instance,  in  VM'A  we  did  a  pictni'o  in  the  stndio.  from  which  I  tried 
desperately  to  set  out,  called  Song  of  Russia.  Tliey  wanted  nie  to  do  it.  I 
didn't  want  to  do  it  because  I  thought  it  was  definitely  Communist  propaganda.. 
In  other  v/ords,  it  happened  to  paint  Russia  in  a  light  in  which  I  personally 
never  had  conceived  Russia. 


I 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  81 

I  won't  go  on  with  Mr.  Taylor's  testimony  at  this  point,  Mr.  Chair- 
man, because  he  is  to  appear  and  testify  himself,  but  I  want  to  point 
out  that  INIr.  Taylor,  who  j)laye(l  the  leading  role  in  this  picture,  con- 
sidered the  picture  to  be  Communist  propaganda.  I  saw  it  myself. 
1  personally  tliink  it  was  Communist  ])ropaganda. 

I  would  like  to  present  a  qualified  reviewer  and  get  their  opinion  of 
it,  but  before  doing  so  I  would  like  to  refer  to  a  letter  which  Mr. 
Lowell  JNIellett  wrote  as  Chief  of  the  Motion  Picture  Division,  Office 
■of  War  Information.  This  letter  appeared  in  the  Washington  Star 
of  Sunday,  October  19,  addressed  to  Capt.  Leland  P.  Lovette,  Director 
of  Public  Relations,  Navy  Department. 

My  De.\r  Captain  Lovette:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  have  asked  for  a  delay  in 
the  induction  of  Robert  Taylor  as  a  naval  aviation  cadet  to  permit  the  comple- 
tion of  a  picture  now  under  production,  with  Taylor  as  the  star.  Much  of  the 
picture  already  has  been  shot,  but  there  remains  several  weeks'  further  shooting. 
This  picture  lias  Russia  for  its  scene  and  the  Office  of  War  Information  believes 
that,  based  <m  the  script  which  we  have  read,  it  will  serve  a  useful  purpose  in 
the  war  effort.  It  has  no  political  implications,  being  designed  primarily  to 
acquaint  the  American  people  with  the  people  of  one  of  our  Allied  Nations. 
Yours  sincerely, 

LOWPXL  MELI^rrT. 

Now,  Mr.  Mayer,  you  stated  that  you  recently  viewed  the  picture. 

Mr.  Mayp:r.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Striplixc}.  Is  it  your  opinion  that  there  were  no  political  im- 
plications in  it  whatsoever? 

Mr.  Mayer.  I  am  convinced  of  that.  I  am  under  oath,  and  if  I  met 
my  God  I  would  still  repeat  the  same  thing. 

I  have  here  i-eviews  of  the  picture  from  the  New  York  Times,  the 
NeAv  York  Post,  the  London  Daily  Sketch,  the  Washington  Post,  and 
the  New  York  Herald  Tribune.  There  is  only  two  lines  or  so  in 
each  one.    The  New  York  Times  said  : 

It  is  really  a  honey  of  a  topical  musical  tilni,  full  of  rare  good  humor,  rich 
vitality,  and  a  proper  respect  for  the  Russians'  tigiit  in  the  war. 

The  New  York  Post  says : 

*  *  *  a  pretty  little  romance  with  a  made-iri-America  back-drop  of  Rus- 
sia    *     *     *     cozy,  clean,  luxuriousl.v  musical  film     *  *. 

The  London  Daily  Sketch  says: 

*  *     *     turned  out  to  be  strictly  an  American  anthem. 

The  Washington  Post  said  : 

It  is  one  film  about  Russia  which  will  probably  be  little  assailed  as  propa- 
ganda    *     *     * 

The  New  York  Herald  Tribiuie  said  : 

Russia  it.self  has  all  too  little  to  do  with  Song  of  Russia. 

Here  is  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Mayer,  I  would  like  for  you  to  stand  aside  for  a 
moment.    I  would  like  to  call  as  the  next  witness  Miss  Ayn  Rand. 

The  Chairman.  And,  Mr.  Mayer,  thank  you  verj^  much.  We  will 
probably  call  you  back,  though,  a  little  later,  or  tomorrow  morning. 

Mr.  Mayer.  Shall  I  stay  over? 

The  Chairman.  You  better  stay  for  a  little  while.  We  will  let 
vou  know. 


82  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Mayer.  All  right. 

The  CHAiR:\rAN.  Raise  your  right  haiul,  please.  Miss  Rand. 
Do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the 
truth,  tlie  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  Uie  truth,  so  help  you  God? 
Miss  Rand.  1  do. 

TESTIMONY  OF  MISS  AYN  RAND 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Miss  Rand,  will  you  state  your  name,  please,  for  the 
record  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Ayn  Rand,  or  Mrs.  Frank  O'Conner. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  A-y-n  ? 

Miss  Rand.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Stripling.  R-a-n-d? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  your  pen  name  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  what  is  your  married  name? 

Miss  Rand.  Mrs.  Frank  O'C'onner. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  were  you  born.  Miss  Rand? 

Miss  Rand.  In  St.  Petersburg,  Russia. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  did  you  leave  Russia  ? 

Miss  Rand.  In  1926. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  employed  in  Hollywood? 

Miss  Rand.  I  have  been  in  pictures  on  and  off  since  late  in  192G, 
but  specifically  as  a  writer  this  time  I  have  been  in  Hollywood  since 
late  1943  and  am  now  under  contract  as  a  writer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  written  various  novels? 

Miss  Rand.  One  second.  May  I  have  one  moment  to  get  this  in 
order  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes. 

Miss  Rand.  Yes,  I  have  written  two  novels.  Mj  first  one  was  called 
We,  the  Living,  which  was  a  story  about  Soviet  Russia  and  was  pub- 
lished in  1936.  The  second  one  was  The  Fountainhead,  published  in 
1943. 

JNIr.  Stripling.  Was  that  a  best  seller — The  Fountainhead? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes ;  thanks  to  the  American  public. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  how  many  copies  were  sold  ? 

Miss  Rand.  The  last  I  heard  was  360,000  copies.  I  think  there  have 
been  some  more  since. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  been  emplo^'ed  as  a  writer  in  Hollywood? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes;  I  am  under  contract  at  present. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  name  some  of  the  stories  or  scripts  you 
have  written  for  Hollywood  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  have  done  the  script  of  The  Fountainhead,  which  has 
not  been  produced  yet,  for  Warner  Bros.,  and  two  adaptations  for  Hal 
Wallis  Production,  at  Paramount,  which  were  not  my  stories  but  on 
which  I  did  the  screen  plays,  which  were  Love  Letters  and  You  Came 
Along. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  Miss  Rand,  you  have  heard  the  testimony  of 
Mr.  Mayer  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  83 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  read  the  letter  I  read  from  Lowell  Mellett  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Which  says  that  the  picture  Song  of  Russia  has  no 
political  implications? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  at  the  request  of  Mr.  Smith,  the  investigator 
for  this  committee,  view  the  picture  Song  of  Russia? 

]\Iiss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Within  the  past  2  weeks? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes;  on  October  1;>  to  be  exact. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  Hollywood? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes. 

Mr.  Strii>ling.  Would  you  give  the  committee  a  break-down  of  your 
summary  of  the  picture  relating  to  either  propaganda  or  an  untruthful 
account  or  distorted  account  of  conditions  in  Russia? 

]\Iiss  Rand.  Yes. 

First  of  all  I  would  like  to  define  what  we  mean  by  propaganda. 
We  have  all  been  talking  about  it,  but  nobody 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  talk  into  the  microphone  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Can  you  hear  me  now  ? 

Nobody  has  stated  just  what  they  mean  by  propaganda.  Now,  I 
use  the  term  to  mean  that  Communist  propaganda  is  anything  which 
gives  a  good  impression  of  communism  as  a  way  of  life.  Anything 
that  sells  peo})le  the  idea  that  life  in  Russia  is  good  and  that  people 
are  free  and  happy  would  be  Communist  propaganda.  Am  I  not 
correct  ?  I  mean,  would  that  be  a  fair  statement  to  make — that  that 
would  be  Communist  propaganda? 
/■""T^ow,  here  is  what  the  picture  Song  of  Russia  contains.  It  starts 
/  with  an  American  conductor,  played  by  Robert  Taylor,  giving  a  con- 
j  cert  in  America  for  Russian  war  relief.  He  starts  playing  the  Amer- 
ican national  anthem  and  the  national  anthem  dissolves  into  a  Russian 
mob,  with  the  sickle  and  hammer  on  a  I'ed  flag  very  prominent  above 
their  heads.  I  am  sorry,  but  that  made  me  sick.  That  is  something 
which  I  do  not  see  how  native  Americans  permit,  and  I  am  only  a 
naturalized  Amei'ican.  That  was  a  terrible  touch  of  propaganda.  As 
a  writer,  I  can  tell  you  just  exactly  what  it  suggests  to  the  people. 
It  suggests  literally  and  technically  that  it  is  quite  all  right  for  the 
American  national  anthem  to  dissolve  into  the  Soviet.  The  term  here 
is  more  than  just  technical.  It  really  was  symbolically  intended, 
and  it  worked  out  that  way.  The  anthem  continues,  played  by  a 
Soviet  band.     That  is  the  beginning  of  the  picture. 

Now  we  go  to  the  pleasant  love  story.  Mr.  Taylor  is  an  American 
who  came  there  apparently  voluntarily  to  conduct  concerts  for  the 
Soviet.  He  meets  a  little  Russian  girl  from  a  village  who  comes  to 
him  and  begs  him  to  go  to  her  village  to  direct  concerts  there.  There 
are  no  GPU  agents  and  nobody  stops  her.  She  just  comes  to  Moscow 
and  meets  hifn.  He  falls  for  her  and  decides  he  will  go,  because  he  is 
falling  in  love.  He  asks  her  to  show  him  Moscow.  She  says  she  has 
never  seen  it.     He  says,  "I  will  show  it  to  you." 

They  see  it  together.  The  i)icture  then  goes  into  a  scene  of  Moscow, 
supposedly.  I  don't  know  where  the  studio  got  its  shots,  but  I  have 
never  seen  anything  like  it  in  Russia.  First  you  see  JNIoscoav  build- 
ings— big,  prosperous-looking,  clean  buildings,  with  something  like 


84  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

swans  ov  sailboats  in  the  foreground.  Then  you  see  a  Moscow  res- 
taurant that  just  never  existed  there.  In  my  time,  when  I  was  in 
Russia,  there  was  only  one  such  restaurant,  which  was  nowhere  as 
luxurious  as  that  and  no  one  could  enter  it  except  commissars  and 
l)rofiteers.  Certainly  a  ^irl  from  a  villa<ie,  who  in  the  first  place 
would  never  have  been  allowed  to  come  voluntarily,  without  permis- 
sion, to  Moscow,  could  not  afford  to  enter  it,  even  if  she  worked  10 
years.  However,  there  is  a  Russian  restaurant  with  a  menu  such  as 
never  existed  in  Russia  at  all  and  which  I  doubt  even  existed  before 
the  revolution.  From  this  restaurant  they  0,0  on  to  this  tour  of  Mos- 
cow. The  streets  are  clean  and  prosperous-looking.  There  are  no 
food  lines  anywhere.  You  see  shots  of  the  marble  subway — the  fa- 
mous Russian  subway  out  of  which  they  make  such  propaganda 
capital.  There  is  a  marble  statue  of  Stalin  thrown  in.  There  is  a 
park  where  you  see  hapjoy  little  children  in  white  blouses  running 
around.  I  don't  know  whose  children  they  are,  but  they  are  really 
happy  kiddies.  They  are  not  homeless  children  in  rags,  such  as  I 
have  seen  in  Russia.  Then  you  see  an  excursion  boat,  on  which  the 
Russian  people  are  smiling,  sitting  around  very  cheerfully,  dressed 
m  some  sort  of  satin  blouses  such  as  they  only  wear  in  Russian 
restaurants  here. 

Then  they  attend  a  luxurious  dance.     I   don't  know  where  they 
got  the  idea  of  the  clothes  and  the  settings  that  thev  used  at  the  ball 


Mr.  Stimplino.  Is  that  a  ballroom  scene? 

Miss  Rand.  Yes;  the  ballroom — where  they  dance.  It  was  an  ex- 
aggeration even  for  this  country.  I  have  never  seen  anybody  wear- 
ing such  clothes  and  dancing  to  such  exotic  nuisic  when  I  was  there. 
Of  course,  it  didn't  say  whose  ballroom  it  is  or  how  they  get  there. 
But  there  they  are — free  and  dancing  very  happily. 

Incidentally,  I  must  say  at  this  point  that  I  understand  from  cor- 
respondents who  have  left  Russia  and  been  there  later  than  I  was 
and  from  people  who  escaped  from  there  later  than  I  did  that  the 
time  I  saw  it,  which  was  in  1926.  was  the  best  time  since  the  Russian 
revolution.  At  that  time  conditions  were  a  little  better  than  they 
have  become  since.  In  my  time  we  were  a  bunch  of  ragged,  starved, 
dirty,  miserable  people  who  had  only  two  thoughts  in  our  mind. 
That  was  our  complete  terror — afraid  to  look  at  one  another,  afraid 
to  say  anything  for  fear  of  who  is  listening  and  would  report  us — 
and  where  to  get  the  next  meal.  You  have  no  idea  what  it  means 
to  live  in  a  country  where  nobody  has  any  concern  except  food,  where 
all  the  conversation  is  about  food  because  everybody  is  so  hungry 
that  that  is  all  they  can  think  about  and  that  is  all  they  can  afford 
to  do.  They  have  no  idea  of  politics.  They  have  no  idea  of  any 
pleasant  romances  or  love — nothing  but  food  and  fear. 

That  is  what  I  saw  up  to  1926.    That  is  not  what  the  picture  shows. 

Now,  after  this  tour  of  Moscow,  the  hero — the  Ameriran  conduc- 
tor— goes  to  the  Soviet  village.  The  Russian  villages  are  something — 
so  miserable  and  so  filthy.  They  were  even  before  the  revolution. 
They  weren't  much  even  then.  What  they  have  become  ncnv  I  am 
afraid  to  think.  You  have  all  i-ead  about  the  program  for  the  col- 
lectivization of  the  farms  in  1938.  at  which  time  the  Soviet  Govern- 
ment admits  that  8,000.000  peasants  died  of  starvation.  Other  people 
claim  there  were  seven  and  a  half  million,  but  8,000,000  is  the  figure 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  85 

admitted  b}^  the  Soviet  (ioveninieiit  as  the  fionie  of  people  who  died 
of  starvation,  phuined  bv  the  fjoverniuent  in  order  to  drive  people 
into  collective  farms.    That  is  a  recorded  historical  fact. 

Now,  here  is  the  life  in  the  Soviet  village  as  presented  in  Song  of 
Russia.  You  see  the  happy  peasants.  You  see  they  are  meeting  the 
hero  at  the  station  with  bands,  with  beautiful  blouses  and  shoes, 
such  as  they  never  wore  anywhere.  You  see  children  with  operetta 
costumes  on  them  and  with  a  brass  band  which  they  could  never 
atford.  You  see  the  manicured  stai'lets  driving  tractors  and  the  happy 
M'Omen  wlio  come  fi'om  work  sin.ging.  You  see  a  peasant  at  home 
with  a  close-up  of  food  for  which  anyone  there  w^ould  have  been 
murdered.  If  anybody  had  such  food  in  Russia  in  that  time  he 
couldn't  remain  alive,  because  he  would  have  been  torn  apart  by 
neighbors  trying  to  get  food.  But  here  is  a  close-up  of  it  and  a  line 
where  Robert  Taylor  comments  on  the  food  and  the  peasant  answers, 
"This  is  just  a  simple  country  table  and  the  food  we  eat  ourselves." 

Then  the  peasant  proceeds  to  show  Taylor  how  they  live.  He  shows 
him  his  wonderful  tractor.  It  is  parked  somewhere  in  his  private 
garage.  He  shows  him  the  grain  in  his  bin,  and  Taylor  says,  "That  is 
wonderful  grain.'"  Now,  it  is  never  said  that  the  peasant  does  not  own 
this  tractor  or  this  grain  because  it  is  a  collective  farm.  He  couldn't 
have  it.  It  is  not  his.  But  the  impression  he  gives  to  Americans,  who 
wouldn't  know  any  differently,  is  that  certainly  it  is  this  peasant's 
private  property,  and  that  is  how  he  lives,  he  has  has  has  owni  tractor 
and  his  own  grain.    Then  it  shows  miles  and  miles  of  plowed  fields. 

The  Chairman.  We  will  have  more  order,  please. 

Miss  Raxd.  Am  I  speaking  too  fast  ? 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead. 

Miss  Rand.  Then 

Mr.  Stru'lino.  Miss  Rand,  may  I  bring  up  one  point  there? 

Miss  Rand.  Surely. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  saw  the  picture.  At  this  peasant's  village  or  home, 
was  there  a  priest  or  several  priests  in  evidence? 

Miss  Rand.  Oh,  yes ;  I  am  coming  to  that,  too.  The  priest  w^as  from 
the  beginning  in  the  village  scenes,  having  a  position  as  sort  of  a  con- 
stant comjianion  and  friend  of  the  peasants,  as  if  religion  was  a  natural 
accejited  ])art  of  that  life.  AVell.  now.  as  a  matter  of  fact,  the  situation 
about  religion  in  Russia  in  my  time  was,  and  I  understand  it  still  is, 
that  for  a  Communist  Party  member  to  have  anything  to  do  with 
religion  means  expulsion  from  the  party.  He  is  not  allowed  to  enter 
a  church  or  take  part  in  any  religioiis  ceremony.  For  a  private  citizen, 
that  is  a  nonparty  member,  it  was  permitted,  but  it  was  so  frowned 
upon  that  ])eople  had  to  keep  it  secret,  if  they  went  to  church.  If  they 
wanted  a  church  wedding  they  usually  had  it  privately  in  their  homes, 
with  only  a  few  friends  present,  in  order  not  to  let  it  be  known  at  their 
place  of  employment  because,  even  though  it  was  not  forbidden,  the 
chances  were  that  they  would  be  thrown  out  of  a  job  for  being  known 
as  practicing  any  kind  of  religion. 

Now,  then,  to  continue  with  the  story,  Robert  Taylor  ])roposes  to 
the  heroine.  She  acce])ts  him.  They  have  a  wedding,  which,  of  course, 
is  a  church  wedding.  It  takes  place  .with  all  the  religious  pomp  which 
they  show.  They  have  a  banquet.  They  have  dancers,  in  something 
like  satin  skirts  and  performing  ballets  such  as  you  never  could  pos- 
sibly see  in  any  village  and  certaiulv  not  in  Russia.    Later  they  show- 


86  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

a  peasants'  meeting  place,  wliich  is  a  kind  of  a  marble  palace  with 
ciTstal  cliandeliers.  Where  tliey  got  it  or  who  built  it  for  them  I  would 
like  to  be  told.  Then  later  you  see  that  the  peasants  all  have  radios. 
Wlien  the  heroine  plays  as  a  soloist  with  Robert  Taylor's  orchestra, 
after  she  marries  him,  you  see  a  scene  where  all  the  peasants  are  listen- 
ing on  radios,  and  one  of  them  says,  "There  are  more  than  millions 
listening  to  the  concert." 

I  don't  know  whether  there  are  a  hundred  people  in  Russia,  private 
individuals,  who  own  radios.  And  I  remember  reading  in  the  news- 
paper at  the  beginning  of  the  war  that  every  radio  was  seized  by  the 
Government  and  people  were  not  allowed  to  own  them.  Such  an  idea 
that  every  farmer,  a  poor  peasant,  has  a  radio,  is  certainly  preposter- 
ous. You  also  see  that  they  have  long-distance  telephones.  Later 
in  the  picture  Taylor  has  to  call  his  wife  in  the  village  by  long-distance 
telephone.     Where  they  got  this  long-distance  phone,  I  don't  know. 

Now,  here  comes  the  crucial  point  of  the  picture.  In  the  midst  of 
this  concert,  when  the  heroine  is  playing,  you  see  a  scene  on  the  border 
of  the  U.  S.  S.  R.  You  have  a  very  lovely  modernistic  sign  saying  "U.  S. 
S.  R."  I  would  just  like  to  remind  you  that  that  is  the  border  where 
probably  thousands  of  people  have  died  tr^^ing  to  escape  out  of  this 
lovely  .paradise.  It  shows  the  U.  S.  S.  R.  sign,  and  there  is  a  border 
guard  standing.  He  is  listening  to  the  concert.  Then  there  is  a 
scene  inside  kind  of  a  guardhouse  where  the  guards  are  listening  to 
the  same  concert,  the  beautiful  Tschaikowsky  music,  and  they  are 
playing  chess.  Suddenly  there  is  a  Nazi  attack  on  them.  The  poor, 
sweet  Russians  were  unprepared.  Now,  realize — and  that  was  a  great 
shock  to  me — that  the  border  that  was  being  shown  was  the  border 
of  Poland.  That  was  the  border  of  an  occupied,  destroyed,  enslaved 
country  which  Hitler  and  Stalin  destroyed  together.  That  was  the 
border  that  was  being  shown  to  us — just  a  happy  place  with  people 
listening  to  music. 

Also  realize  that  when  all  this  sweetness  and  light  was  going  on  in 
the  first  part  of  the  picture,  with  all  these  happy,  free  people,  there 
was  not  a  GPU  agent  among  them,  with  no  food  lines,  no  persecution — 
complete  freedom  and  happiness,  with  everybody  smiling.  Inciden- 
tally, I  have  never  seen  so  much  smiling  in  my  life,  except  on  the 
murals  of  the  world's  fair  pavilion  of  the  Soviet.  If  any  one  of 
you  have  seen  it,  you  can  ap])reciate  it.  It  is  one  of  the  stock  propa- 
ganda tricks  of  the  Communists,  to  show  these  people  smiling.  That 
is  all  they  can  show.  You  have  all  this,  plus  the  fact  that  an  Amer- 
ican conductor  had  accepted  an  invitation  to  come  there  and  conduct 
a  concert,  and  this  took  place  in  1941  .when  Stalin  was  the  ally  of 
Hitler.  That  an  American  would  accept  an  invitation  to  that  country 
was  shocking  to  me,  with  everything  that  was  shown  being  proper 
and  good  and  all  those  happy  people  going  around  dancing,  when 
Stalin  was  an  ally  of  Hitler. 

Now,  then,  the  heroine  decides  that  she  wants  to  stay  in  Russia. 
Taylor  would  like  to  take  her  out  of  the  country,  but  she  says  no,  her 
place  is  here,  she  has  to  fight  the  war.  Here  is  the  line,  as  nearly 
exact  as  I  could  mark  it  while  watching  the  picture:  "I  have  a  great 
responsibility  to  my  family,  to  my  village,  and  to  the  way  I  have 
lived."  What  way  had  she  lived  ?  This  is  just  a  polite  way  of  saying 
the  Communist  way  of  life.  She  goes  on  to  say  that  she  wants  to 
stay  in  the  country  because  otherwise,  "How  can  I  help  to  build  a 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  87 

better  and  better  life  for  my  country."  What  do  you  mean  when 
you  say  bettei'  and  better  ^  That  means  she  has  ah-eady  helped  to  build 
a  good  way.  That  is  the  Soviet  Communist  way.  But  now  she  wants 
to  make  it  even  better.     All  right. 

Now.  then,  Taylor's  manager,  who  is  played,  I  believe,  by  Benchley, 
an  American,  tells  her  that  she  should  leave  the  country,  but  when  she 
refuses  and  wants  to  stay,  here  is  the  line  he  uses :  He  tells  her  in  an 
admiring  friendly  way  that  "You  are  a  fool,  but  a  lot  of  fools  like  you 
died  on  the  village  green  at  Lexington." 

Xow,  1  submit  that  that  is  blasphemy,  because  the  men  at  Lexington 
were  not  fighting  just  a  foreign  invader.  They  were  fighting  for  free- 
dom and  what  I  mean — and  I  intend  to  be  exact — is  they  were  fighting 
for  political  freedom  and  individual  freedom.  They  were  fighting  for 
the  rights  of  man.  To  compare  them  to  somebod}^,  anybody  lighting 
for  a  slave  state,  I  think  is  dreadful. 

Then,  later  the  girl  also  says — I  believe  this  was  she  or  one  of  tlie 
other  characters — that  "the  culture  we  have  been  building  here  will 
never  die."    What  cultured    The  cultui-e  of  concentrati(m  camps. 

At  the  end  of  the  picture  one  of  the  Russians  asks  Taylor  and  the  girl 
to  go  back  to  America,  because  they  can  help  them  there.  How  ?  Here 
is  what  he  says,  "You  can  go  back  to  your  country  and  tell  them  what 
you  have  seen  and  you  will  see  the  truth  both  in  speech  and  in  music." 
Xow,  that  is  plainly  saying  that  what  you  have  seen  is  the  truth  about 
Russia.    That  is  what  is  in  the  picture. 

XoAv,  here  is  wliat  I  cannot  understand  at  all :  If  the  excuvse  that  has 
been  given  here  is  that  we  had  to  produce  the  picture  in  wartime,  just 
how  can  it  help  the  war  effort  ?  If  it  is  to  deceive  the  American  people, 
if  it  were  to  ])resent  to  the  American  people  a  better  picture  of  Russia 
than  it  really  is,  then  that  sort  of  an  attitude  is  nothing  but  the  theory 
of  the  Nazi  elite,  that  a  choice  group  of  intellectual  or  other  leaders  will 
tell  the  people  lies  for  their  own  good.  That  I  don't  think  is  the  Ameri- 
can wav  of  giving  people  information.  We  do  not  have  to  deceive  the 
jieople  at  any  time,  in  war  or  peace. 

If  it  was  to  please  the  Russians,  I  don't  see  how  you  can  please  the 
Russians  by  telling  them  that  we  are  fools.  To  what  extent  we  have 
done  it,  you  can  see  right  now.  You  can  see  the  results  right  now.  If 
we  present  a  picture  like  that  as  our  version  of  what  goes  on  in  Russia, 
what  will  they  think  of  it?  We  don't  win  anybody's  friendshij:).  We 
will  only  win  their  contempt,  and  as  you  know  the  Russians  have  been 
behaving  like  this. 

My  Avhole  point  about  the  picture  is  this :  I  fully  believe  Mr.  Mayer 
when  he  says  that  he  did  not  make  a  Communist  picture.  To  do  him 
justice,  I  can  tell  you  I  noticed,  by  watching  the  picture,  where  there 
was  an  effort  to  cut  propaganda  out.  I  believe  he  tried  to  cut  propa- 
ganda out  of  the  picture,  but  the  terrible  thing  is  the  carelessness  with 
ideas,  not  realizing  that  the  mere  presentation  of  that  kind  of  happy 
existence  in  a  country  of  slavery  and  horror  is  terrible  because  it  is 
propaganda.  You  are  telling  people  that  it  is  all  right  to  live  in  a 
totalitarian  state. 

Xow,  I  would  like  to  say  that  nothing  on  earth  will  justify  slavery. 
In  war  or  peace  or  at  any  time  you  cannot  justify  slaverv.  You  cannot 
tell  peojile  that  it  is  all  right  to  live  under  it  and  that  everybody  there 
is  haj:>py. 


88  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

If  you  doubt  this,  I  will  just  ask  you  one  question.  Visualize  a  pic- 
ture in  your  own  mind  as  laid  in  Nazi  Germany.  If  anybody  laid 
a  plot  just  based  on  a  pleasant  little  romance  in  Germany  and  played 
AVa^ner  music  and  said  that  people  are  just  happy  there,  would  you 
say  that  that  was  propa^randa  or  not,  when  you  know  what  life  in 
Germany  was  and  what  kind  of  concentration  camps  tliey  had  there. 
You  would  not  dare  to  put  just  a  happy  love  story  into  Germany,  and 
for  every  one  of  the  same  reas(ms  you  should  not  do  it  about  Russia. 

ISIr.  Stripling.  That  is  all  I  have,  Mr.  Chairuuin. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  <yather,  then,  from  your  analysis  of  this  picture  your 
personal  criticism  of  it  is  that  it  overplayed  the  conditions  that  existed 
in  Russia  at  the  time  the  picture  was  made;  is  that  correct? 

Miss  Rand.  Did  you  say  overplayed? 

^Ir.  Wood.  Yes. 

Miss  Rand.  Well,  the  story  portrayed  the  people. 

Mr.  Wood.  It  portrayed  the  people  of  Russia  in  a  better  economic 
and  social  position  than  they  occupied? 

Miss  Rand.  That  is  rioht. 

Mr.  Wood.  And  it  would  also  leave  the  im])ression  in  the  average 
mind  that  they  were  better  able  to  resist  the  atr<rression  of  tlie  German 
Army  than  they  were  in  fact  able  to  resist  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Well,  that  was  not  in  the  picture.  So  far  as  the  Russian 
war  w^as  concerned,  not  A^ery  much  was  shown  about  it. 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  you  recall,  I  presume — it  is  a  matter  of  history — 
going  back  to  the  middle  of  the  First  World  War  when  Russia  was 
also  our  ally  against  the  same  enemy  that  we  were  fighting  at  this 
time  and  they  were  knocked  out  of  the  war.  When  the  renniants  of 
their  forces  turned  against  us,  it  prolonged  the  First  World  AVar  a 
considerable  time,  didn't  it? 

Miss  Rand.  I  don't  believe  so. 

ISIr.  AVooD.  You  don't? 

Miss  Rand.  No. 

Mr.  Wood.  Do  you  think,  then,  that  it  was  to  our  advantage  or  to 
our  disadvantage  "to  keep  Russia  in  this  war.  at  the  time  this  picture 
was  made? 

Miss  Rand.  That  has  absolutely  nothing  to  do  with  what  we  are 
discussing. 

Mr.  AA^:)OD.  AVell 

Miss  Rand.  But  if  you  want  me  to  answer,  I  can  answer,  but  it  will 
take  me  a  long  time  to  say  what  I  think,  as  to  whether  we  sliould  or 
should  not  have  had  Russia  on  our  side  in  the  war.  I  can.  but  how 
much  time  will  you  give  me? 

]\Ir.  AVooD.  AVell,  do  you  say  that  it  would  have  prolonged  the  war, 
so  far  as  we  were  concerned,  if  they  had  been  knocked  out  of  it  at  that 
time  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  can't  answer  that  yes  or  no,  unless  you  give  me  time 
for  a  long  speech  on  it. 

Mr.  AVooD.  Well,  there  is  a  ])retty  strong  i)robability  that  we 
wouldn't  have  won  it  at  all,  isn't  there  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  don't  know,  because  on  the  other  hand  I  think  we 
could  have  used  the  lend-lease  supplies  that  we  sent  there  to  much 
better  advantage  ourselves. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  89 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  at  that  time 

Miss  Raxd.  I  don't  know.    It  is  a  question. 

Mr.  Wood.  We  were  furnishinji;, Russia  with  all  the  lend-lease  equip- 
ment that  our  industry  would  stand,  weren't  we'^ 

Miss  Rand.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Wood.  And  continued  to  do  it  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  am  not  sure  it  was  at  all  wise.  Now,  if  you  want  to 
discuss  my  military  views — I  am  not  an  authority,  but  I  will  try. 

Mr.  Wood.  What  do  you  interpret,  then,  the  picture  as  having  been 
made  for  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  ask  you:  What  relation  could  a  lie  about  Russia  have 
with  the  war  effort?  I  would  like  to  have  somebody  explain  that  to 
me,  because  I  really  don't  understand  it,  why  a  lie  would  help  anybody 
or  wh}^  it  would  keep  Russia  in  or  out  of  the  war.    How  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  You  don't  think  it  would  have  been  of  benefit  to  the 
American  people  to  have  kept  them  in  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  don't  believe  the  American  people  should  ever  be  told 
any  lies,  publicly  or  privately.  I  don't  believe  that  lies  are  practical. 
I  think  the  international  situation  now  rather  supports  me.  I  don't 
think  it  was  necessary  to  deceive  the  American  people  about  the  nature 
of  Russia. 

I  could  add  this :  If  those  who  saw  it  say  it  was  quite  all  right,  and 
perhaps  there  are  reasons  why  it  was  all  right  to  be  an  ally  of  Russia, 
then  why  weren't  the  American  people  told  the  real  reasons  and  told 
that  Russia  is  a  dictatorship  but  there  are  reasons  why  we  should 
cooperate  with  them  to  destroy  Hitler  and  other  dictators?  All  right, 
there  may  be  some  argument  to  that.  Let  us  hear  it.  But  of  what 
help  can  it  be  to  the  war  effort  to  tell  people  that  we  should  associate 
with  Russia  and  that  she  is  not  a  dictatorship? 

Mr.  Wood.  Let  me  see  if  I  unclersand  your  position.  I  understand, 
from  what  you  say,  that  because  they  were  a  dictatorship  we  shouldn't 
have  accepted  their  help  in  undertaking  to  win  a  war  against  another 
dictatorship. 

Miss  Rand.  That  is  not  what  I  said.  I  was  not  in  a  position  to  make 
that  decision.  If  I  were,  I  would  tell  you  what  I  would  do.  That  is 
not  what  we  are  discussing.  We  are  discussing  the  fact  that  our 
country  was  an  ally  of  Russia,  and  the  question  is,  What  should  we 
tell  the  American  people  about  it — the  truth  or  a  lie?  If  we  had  good 
reason,  if  that  is  what  you  believe,  all  right,  then  why  not  tell  the 
truth?  Ssij  it  is  a  dictatorship,  but  we  want  to  be  associated  with  it. 
Say  it  is  worth  while  being  associated  with  the  devil,  as  Churchill  said, 
in  order  to  defeat  another  evil  which  is  Hitler.  There  might  be  some 
good  argument  made  for  that.  But  why  pretend  that  Russia  was  not 
what  it  was  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Well 

Miss  Rand.  What  do  you  achieve  by  that  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  Do  you  think  it  would  have  had  as  good  an  effect  upon 
the  morale  of  the  American  people  to  preach  a  doctrine  to  them  that 
Russia  was  on  the  verge  of  collapse  ? 

Miss  Rand.  I  don't  believe  that  the  morale  of  anybody  can  be  built 
up  by  a  lie.  If  there  was  nothing  good  that  we  could  truthfully  say 
about  Russia,  then  it  would  have  been  better  not  to  sav  anvthing  at  all. 

Mr.  Wood.  Well 


90  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION    PICTrRE   INDUSTRY 

Miss  Rand.  You  don't  have  to  come  out  and  denounce  Russia  durino- 
tlio  wai- ;  no.  Yon  can  keep  quiet.  There  is  no  moral  (^uih  in  not  sayino' 
something  if  you  can't  say  it,  but  there  is  in  saying  the  opposite  of 
what  is  true. 

Mr.  AVoon.  Tliank  you.    That  is  alL 

The  CiiAiitMAN.  jMr.  Vaih 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chaikman.  Mr.  McDowelL 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  paint  a  very  dismal  picture  of  Russia.  Yon 
made  a  great  point  about  the  number  of  children  who  were  unhappy. 
Doesn't  anybody  smile  in  Russia  any  more? 

Miss  Rand.  Well,  if  you  ask  me  literally,  pretty  nuich  no. 

Mr.  McDow'EL!,.  They  don't  smile  ? 

Miss  Rand.  Not  quite  that  way;  no.  If  they  do, -it  is  privately  and 
accidentally.  Certainly,  it  is  not  social.  They  don't  smile  in  approval 
of  their  system, 

Mr.  McDowEJ.L.  Well,  all  they  do  is  talk  about  food. 

Miss  Rand.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  McDowell.  That  is  a  great  change  from  the  Russians  I  have 
always  known,  and  I  have  know  a  lot  of  them.  Don't  they  do  things 
at  all  like  Americans?  Don't  they  walk  across  town  to  visit  their 
mother-in-law  or  somebody? 

Miss  Rand.  Look,  it  is  very  hard  to  explain.  It  is  almost  impossible 
to  convey  to  a  free  people  what  it  is  like  to  live  in  a  totalitarian  dic- 
tatorship. I  can  tell  you  a  lot  of  details.  I  can  never  completely 
convince  you,  because  you  are  free.  It  is  in  a  way  good  that  you  can't 
even  conceive  of  what  it  is  like.  Certainly  they  have  friends  and 
mothers-in-law.  They  try  to  live  a  human  life,  but  you  understand  it 
is  totally  inhuman.  Try  to  imagine  wdiat  it  is  like  if  you  are  in  con- 
stant terror  from  morning  till  night  and  at  night  you  are  waiting  for 
the  doorbell  to  ring,  where  you  are  afraid  of  anything  and  everybody, 
living  in  a  country  where  human  life  is  nothing,  less  than  nothing, 
and  you  know"  it.  You  don't  know  who  or  when  is  going  to  do  what 
to  you  because  you  may  have  friends  who  spy  on  you,  where  there  is 
rio  law  and  any  rights  of  any  kind. 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  came  here  in  1'92(),  I  believe  you  said.  Did  you 
escape  from  Russia? 

JMiss  Rand.  No. 

Mr.  McDownxL.  Did  you  have  a  passport  ? 

Miss  Rand.  No.  Strangely  enough,  the}'  gave  me  a  passport  to 
come  out  here  as  a  visitor. 

Mr.  ]\IcDowELL.  As  a  visitor? 

Miss  Rand.  It  was  at  a  time  when  they  relaxed  their  orders  a  little 
bit.  Quite  a  few  people  got  out.  I  had  some  relatives  here  and  I  was 
permitted  to  come  here  for  a  yenv.    I  never  went  back. 

Mr.  McDoAVELL.  I  see. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  All  right. 

The  first  witness  tomorrow  morning  will  be  Adolph  Menjou. 

(Whereupon,  at  4:  20  \).  m.,  an  adjournment  was  taken  until  10:  30 
a.  m.  of  the  following  day,  Tuesday,  October  21  ,1947.)  ^^ 


•"  See  appendix,  p.  525,  for  exhibit  26. 


lIEAKmrTS  REGAKDINrx  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTRATION 
OF  THE  MOTION-PICTUEE  INDUSTRY 


TUESDAY,   OCTOBER   21,    1947 

House  of  Representatives, 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities, 

Washington^  D.  C. 

Tlie  committee  met  at  10:  30  a.  m.,  Hon.  J.  Parnell  Thomas  (chair- 
man) presiding. 

The  Chairman.  The  meetin.g  will  come  to  order. 

The  first  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  first  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  will  be  Mr.  Adolph 
JMenjoii. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Menjon,  will  yon  please  stand  and  raise  your 
right  hand. 

JNIr.  Menjon,  do  yon  solenmly  swear  that  the  testimony  yon  are 
al)()Ut  to  give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God^ 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  do, 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down,  please,  Mr.  Menjou. 

Mr.  Stripling.  INIr.  Chairman,  will  you  let  the  record  show  that  a 
subcommittee  is  present? 

The  CiiAiRaiAN.  The  record  will  show  that  a  subcommittee  is  pres- 
ent, consisting  of  Mr.  McDowell,  Mr.  Vail,  Mr.  Nixon,  and  Mr. 
Thomas. 

Staff  members  present :  Mr.  Robert  E.  Stripling,  chief  investigator, 
Messrs.  Louis  J.  Russell,  Robert  B.  Gaston,  H.  A.  Smith,  investigators, 
and  Mr.  Benjamin  Mandel,  director  of  research. 

TESTIMONY  OF  ADOLPH  MENJOU 

Mr.  Strh'ling.  Mr.  Menjon,  will  you  please  state  your  name  and 
address? 

jNIr.  Menjou.  ]Mv  name  is  Adolph  Menjou,  and  mv  address  is  722 
North  Bedford  Drive,  Beverly  Hills,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  ^Menjou,  do  you  desire  counsel? 

Mr.  ^Menjou.  No,  sir;  I  have  no  need  of  counsel.  I  think  I  can 
speak  for  myself. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  liere  before  the  committee  in  response  to  a 
sniijjena  which  was  served  upon  you  on  September  29;  is  that  true? 

Mr.  Menjov.  Yes,  sir.  I  have  a  copy  of  it  here.  The  promise  is 
lierebv  fulfilled. 

Mr.  Strh'lin(;.  I  ask  that  this  be  made  a  part  of  the  record,  Mr. 
Chairman.^^ 


'•'  See  aiiiK-iidix.  p.  r)2.").  for  cxliibit  L' i . 

91 


92  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTHY 

The  Chairman.  It  is  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Striplix(;.  Mr.  Menjoiu  wliut  is  your  occupation  ? 

Mr.  IMenjou.I  am  a  motion-picture  actor,  I  hope. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Menjou? 

Mr.  :Menjou.  I  was  born  in  Pittsburgh,>a.,  February  18,  1890. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  in  the  motion-picture  in- 
dustry ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Thirty-four  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  how  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Twenty-seven  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  were  you  in  the  First  World  War? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  the  armed  services? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir.  I  served  abroad  for  2  years.  I  was  in  the 
Army  3  years.  1  year  in  America.  I  served  in  Italy,  with  the 
Italian  Army,  being  attached  to  the  Italian  Army:  attached  to  the 
French  Army;  and  with  the  Fifth  Division  until  the  surrendei-  on 
November  11,  1918. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  in  World  War  II  t 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  served  6  months  with  the  U.  S.  Camp  Shows,  Inc., 
entertaining  troops — for  4  months  in  England,  2  months  in  North 
Africa,  Sicily,  Tunisia,  Algeria,  Morrocco.  Brazil,  and  the  Caribbean. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou.  have  you  made  a  study  of  the  subject 
of  communism,  the  activities  of  the  Communists,  in  anv  j)articular 
field  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Menjoit.  I  have.  I  have  made  a  more  particular  study  of  Marx- 
ism, Fabian  socialism,  communism,  Stalinism,  and  its  jjrobable  effects 
on  the  American  people,  if  they  ever  gain  power  here. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Based  upon  your  stucfy,  have  you  observed  any 
Communist  activity  in  the  motion-picture  industry  or  in  Hollywood, 
as  we  commonly  refer  to  it  ^ 

Mr.  Menjott.  I  Avould  like  to  get  the  terminologies  completely 
straight.  Connnunistir  activities — I  would  rather  phrase  it  un- 
American  or  subversive,  antifi'ee  enteri)rifse.  anticapitalistic.  I  have 
seen — pai'don  me. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  observed  any  Connnunist  propaganda  in 
pictures,  or  un-American  j)roi)aganda  in  pictures  which  were  pro- 
duced in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Menjoit.  I  have  seen  no  connnunistic  pro])aganda  in  ])ictures — 
if  you  mean  ""vote  for  Stalin,"  or  that  type  of  connnunistic  propa- 
ganda. I  don't  think  that  tlie  Communists  are  stupid  enough  to  try 
it  that  way.  I  have  seen  in  certain  pictures  things  I  didn't  think 
should  have  been  in  the  pictures. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  tell  the  connnittee  whether  or  !U)t  there 
has  been  an  effort  on  the  part  of  any  particular  group  in  the  motion- 
picture  industry  to  inject  Cimmuinist  propaganda  into  pictures  or 
to  leave  out  scenes  oi-  parts  of  stories  which  would  serve  the  Com- 
mnnist  Party  line? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  don't  like  that  term  "Connnunist  ])ropaganihi,"" 
because  I  have  seen  no  such  tiling  as  Connnunist  pro})agan(hi.  sucli 
as  waving  (he  liannner  and  sickle  in  motion  pictures.  I  have  seen 
things  that  I  thought  were  against  what  I  considered  good  American- 
ism, in  my  feeling.  I  have  seen  pictures  I  thought  shouldn't  have 
been  made — shouldn't  have  been  made,  let  me  ])ut  it  that  way. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  93 

Tlie  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  just  a  minute.  I  want  the  record 
to  show  that  Mr.  AVood  is  here.  We  now  have  a  quorum  of  the  full 
connnittee. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  do  you  have  any  particular  pictures 
in  mind 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well 


Mr.  SxRirLiNG.  When  j^ou  make  that  statement? 

Mr.  Menjou.  AA'ell,  1  wonder  if  I  could  preface  it  by  a  short 
statement  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  if  you  please. 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  am  not  here  to  smear.  I  am  here  to  defend  the 
industry,  that  I  have  spent  the  greater  part  of  my  life  in.  I  am  here 
to  defend  the  producers  and  the  motion-picture  industry. 

Now,  you  wanted  me  to  name  a  picture  ? 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  before  you  name  a  picture? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  am  sorry. 

The  Chairman.  I  want  to  say  that  the  committee  is,  also,  not  here 
to  smear  the  industry  or  to  smear  people  working  in  the  industry. 
Tlie  committee  wants  to  get  the  facts,  and  only  the  facts.  We  are 
going  toliear  both  sides  of  all  of  these  questions.  We  want  to  make 
it  very  clear  that  the  committee  is  not  out  to  censor  the  screen. 

Proceed,  Mr.  Menjou. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Will  you  repeat  the  question,  please? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes.  Well,  we  will  approach  it  this  way.  We  have 
had  testimony  here  to  the  effect  that  writers  who  were  members  of 
the  Screen  Writers  Guild  have  attempted  to  inject  un-American  propa- 
ganda into  motion  pictures.  Are  you  aware  that  that  is  the  case, 
or  has  been  the  case,  in  Hollj'wood  at  any  time? 

]\Ir.  Menjou.  I  don't  think  that  I  am  competent  to  answer  that 
question.  I  am  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild,  and  I  think  a 
member  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  would  be  far  more  competent 
to  answer  that.  If  you  want  to  ask  me  if  I  know  of  any  un-American 
propaganda  in  any  pictures  that  I  appeared,  I  wall  be  glad  to  give 
you  my  thoughts. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  j^ou  give  an  example? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  don't  think  the  picture  Mission  to  Moscow  should 
have  been  made.  It  was  a  perfectly  completely  dishonest  picture. 
If  it  was  to  have  been  an  adaptation,  of  the  book  by  Mr.  Davies  it 
should  have  included  the  entire  story  in  Moscow,  including  the  Mos- 
cow trials  where  Mr.  Davies  was  a  witness  and  over  wdiich  Mr.  Vishin- 
sky  presided.  That  was  not  in  the  picture.  Therefore,  I  consider 
that  a  completely  dishonest  picture  and  distortion  of  the  adaptation 
of  the  book. 

I  also  do  not  think  that  the  jjicture  North  Star  was  a  true  picture, 
from  what  I  have  been  able  to  learn  after  reading  over  150  books  on 
the  subject.  This  was  a  picture  showing  the  German  attack  on  the 
Russians  and  certain  parts  of  it  were  not  true.  It  has  been  quite 
some  time  ago  since  I  saw  the  picture.  I  thought  that  picture  would 
have  been  better  unmade.  Fortunately,  those  pictures  were  unsuc- 
cessful. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  a  generality,  would  you  say  that  the  more  enter- 
taining the  picture  is,  the  better  opportunit}'^  there  might  be  to  put 
across  propaganda  ? 

67683—47 7 


94  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes.  The  better  the  entertainment  the  more  dan- 
gerous the  propaganda  becomes,  once  it  is  injected  into  the  picture. 

Mr.  Striplin(}.  Do  you  know  of  any  anti-Communist  pictures  that 
are  being  prcxUiced  in  Hollywood  at  the  present  time? 

Mr.  Menjou.  No,  sir;  I  do  not.  And  I  would  like  to  see  one.  I 
think  the  pi-oducers  of  anti-Fascist  pictures  should  turn  around  and 
make  an  anti-Communist  i)icture.  I  believe  it  would  be  an  enormous 
success,  if  it  were  made. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  JNIenjou,  if  a  picture  is  produced,  as  for  example 
Mission  to  Moscow,  which  gives  a  false  portrayal  or  which  has  propa- 
ganda in  it,  who  do  you  hold  responsible  in  your  own  mind  as  a  veteran 
actor  in  the  motion-picture  industry^ 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  believe  that  the  manufacturer  of  any  product 
is  responsible  in  the  end  for  the  quality  of  his  product. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words,  the  producers  would  be  held  respon- 
sible? 

Mr.  Menjou.   They  should  be. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wliat  do  you  think  could  be  done  to  correct  that '. 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  think  a  great  deal  already  has  been  done.  The 
eternal  vigilance  of  the  Motion  Picture  Alliance  for  the  Preservation 
of  American  Ideals,  by  its  vigilance,  has  prevented  an  enormous 
amount  of  sly,  subtle,  un-American  class-struggle  propaganda  from 
going  into  pictures. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  consider  that  the  alliance  is  doing  a  good 
job ;  that  is,  has  been  doing  a  good  job  i 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  think  they  have  done  a  magnificent  job,  and  I  am 
very  proud  to  be  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild '. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir ;  I  am. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  noticed  any  effort  on  the  part  of 
Communist  individuals  to  gain  influence  in  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  i 

]Mr.  ^Ienjou.  I  don't  know  any  members  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild 
who  are  members  of  the  Commimist  Party.  I  have  never  seen  their 
cards.  I  am  a  firm  believer  that  the  Communist  Party  in  the  United 
States  is  a  direct  branch  of  the  Comintern — which,  in  my  opinion, 
has  never  been  dissolved — direct  from  Moscow.  It  is  an  oriental 
tyranny,  a  Kremlin-dominated  conspiracy,  and  it  is  against  the  inter- 
ests of  the  people  to  admit  that  they  are  Communists.  Very  few 
admit  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  have  your  very  definite  suspicions  about 
some  members  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  f 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  know  a  great  many  people  who  act  an  awful  lot  like 
Communists. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  an  actor,  Mr.  Menjou,  could  you  tell  the  commit- 
tee whether  or  not  an  actor  in  a  picture  could  portray  a  scene  which 
would  in  effect  serve  as  propaganda  for  communism  or  any  other 
un-American  purpose  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Oh,  yes.  I  believe  that  under  certain  circumstances 
a  communistic  director,  a  communistic  writer,  or  a  communistic  actor, 
even  if  he  were  under  orders  from  the  head  of  the  studio  not  to  inject 
communism  or  un-Amercanism  or  subversion  into  pictures,  could  easily 
subvert  that  order,  under  the  proper  circumstances,  by  a  look,  by  an 
inflection,  by  a  change  in  the  voice.  I  think  it  could  be  easily  done. 
I  have  never  seen  it  done,  but  I  think  it  could  be  done. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  95 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  don't  know  of  any  examples? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  cannot  think  of  one  at  the  moment,  no,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling,  Do  you  know  Mr.  John  Cromwell  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  He  was  identified  before  the  committee  yesterday 
by  Mr.  Sam  Wood  as  being  one  who  sought  to  put  the  Screen  Directors 
Guild  into  the  Red  river.  Do  j^ou  consider  Mi'.  Cromwell  to  be  a 
Communist? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  don't  know  whether  he  is  a  Communist  or  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Does  he  act  like  one  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  In  my  opinion,  he  acts  an  awful  lot  like  one. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  he  ever  make  any  statement  to  you  relative  to- 
his 

Mr.  IVIenjou.  Mr.  Cromwell,  in  his  own  house,  said  to  me  that  cap- 
italism in  America  was  through  and  I  would  see  the  day  when  it  was 
ended  in  America.  A  very  strange  statement  from  a  man  who  earns 
upward  of  $250,000  a  year,  who  owns  a  great  deal  of  Los  Angeles  and 
Hollyv\'ood  real  estate.  It  is  rather  difficult  to  reconcile  that.  He  is 
profiting  by  the  capitalistic  system,  and  yet  he  is  against  it.  He  told 
me  so  with  his  own  lips. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  Mr.  Herbert  K.  Sorrell  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  do  not  know  Mr.  Sorrell. 

]Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  who  he  is,  however? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  know  who  he  is. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  identify  him  for  the  committee? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Mr.  Sorrell,  I  believe,  is  head  of  the  painters'  union. 
I  think  he  is  also  the  head  of  the  Conference  of  Studio  Unions. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  what  have  been  your  observations  re- 
garding Communist  activity  in  Hollywood  in  the  past  10  years  ?  We 
received  testimony  yesterday  that  their  activity  increased  after  1936. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  became  very  much  interested  as  to  what 
socialism  was  during  the  last  war,  when  I  was  stationed  in  the  birth- 
place of  Karl  iNlarx  with  the  Fifth  Division.  It  interested  me  greatlj-. 
I  did  a  considerable  amoiuit  cf  reading.  I  tried  to  wade  through  D.is 
Kapital.  It  was  a  very  difficult  job.  I  read  the  Max  Eastman  con- 
densation of  it.  When  I  got  to  California  later,  we  heard  very,  very 
little  about  it.  Socialism  at  that  time  was  spoken  of.  It  liad  very 
few  followers  in  this  country.  About  1932  or  1933,  when  the  Russiaii 
question  began  to  loom  in  the  picture,  with  the  mass  starvations  of 
the  poor  Russian  peasants  because  they  would  not  conform  to  the 
demands  of  ]\Ir.  Stalin^ — why,  they  shocked  the  world  witli  the  testi- 
mony of  some  of  the  witnesses. 

Then,  later  on,  identified  by  various  committees,  groups  began  to 
be  formed,  which  have  been  labeled,  and  I  think  documented,  as  being 
communistic  front  organizations.  I  particularly  refer  to  the  Inde- 
pendent Citizens  Committee  of  the  Arts,  Sciences,  and  Professions. 
This  was  labeled  a  Communist  front  organization.  I  understand 
that  at  a  meeting  of  the  board  of  directors  it  refused  to  make  an  anti- 
Communist  statement,  that  the}^  were  anti-Communist,  whereupon 
there  were  wholesale  desertions.  One  of  the  first  was  the  president, 
Mr.  James  Roosevelt.  He  left  the  thing  just  prior  to  the  elections. 
Then  there  were  many,  many  other  people  who  left.  Those  peoplei 
who  still  remained  in  it,  in  my  opinion,  would  be  pro-Connnunist. 


96  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

I  do  not  Tinderstand  any  other  reason  for  a  person  belonging  to  an 
organization  in  whicii  he  knew  Connnunists  were  in  and  w^ere  dom- 
inating. 

Tlien  the  PCA  was  formed.  It  also  refused  to  come  out  with  an 
anti-Communist  platform,  whereupon  the  ADA,  the  Americans  for 
Democratic  Action,  was  formed.  1  believe  by  jStrs.  Roosevelt,  Leon 
Henderson,  Melvin  Douglas,  and  some  other  ijeople.  They  do  not 
j^ermit  Communists  in  their  organization,  I  understand. 
I  wonder  if  I  can  help  you  any  more. 
Mr.  SxiarLTNG.  Yes.     Now,  these  various  front  organizations,  which 

have  sprung  up  in  Hollywood 

Mr.  Menjou.  There  is  the  American  Youth  for  Democracy,  which 
is  the  new  name  for  the  Young  Communist  League. 

I  am  not  an  expert  on  the  organizations  here  in  America,  although 
I  have  a  list  of  names  here  which  I  have  gathered  and  will  be  glad  to 
produce. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Let  me  ask  you  this:  The  committee  has  evidence 
that  there  have  been  numerable  Communist  front  organizations  mush- 
room in  Hollywood.  We  received  testimony  yesterday  from  Mr. 
Wood  to  the  effect  that  they  set  up  an  organization,  and  after  they 
milk  it  dry  they  form  another  one.  In  the  Screen  Actors  Guild,  have 
there  ever  been  any  resolutions  offered  by  any  of  the  members  which 
had  as  their  purpose  to  aid  these  front  organizations  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild. 
I  think  my  number  is  among  the  first  50.  I  served  for  many  years 
on  its  board,  but  I  have  not  been  active  in  any  of  the  board  of  directors' 
meetings  for  some  7,  8,  or  9  years,  so  I  couldn't  make  a  statement  on 
that.    I  couldn't  answ^er  that  question. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Well,  let  me  ask  you  this 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  think  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors  would  be 
far  more  capable  of  answering  that  question  than  myself. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes.  Mr.  Chairman,  we  will  have  officials  of  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild  before  the  committee  later  in  the  week. 

As  a  student  of  communism,  did  you  note  an  increased  alliance  with 
the  Communists  in  Hollywood  during  the  period  of  the  w^ar  emer- 
gency, when  we  had  a  military  allied  relationship  with  the  Soviet 
Union  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  spent  practically  7  months  out  of  every  year 
after  Pearl  Harbor  away,  and  I  was  not  in  Hollywood  most  of  that 
time.    I  find  it  rather  difficult  to  answer  that  question.    Maybe  you 

could  rephrase  it  and  I  could  answer  it.    I  w^as 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  say  that  Communist  activity  increased? 
Mr.  Menjou.  Oh,  yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  Hollywood  after  Pearl  Harbor,  1941?  Was  it 
intensified  ? 

Mr.  INIenjou.  It  w^as  intensified  with  the  nonaggression  pact  be- 
tween Mr.  Molotov  and  Mr.  Von  Ribbentrop. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Weren't  some 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  believe  the  date  was  in  1939. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  recall  some  of  the  figures  in  Hollywood  who 
were  very  active  in  the  American  Peace  Mobilization  during  that 
period? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  do  not.  I  am  not  familiar  with  that  part  of  the 
picture  at  all.    I  know  tlie  organization  by  name  only,  and  I  could 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY    •  97 

not  tell  you  the  names  of  that.     Someone  else  who  is  more  familiar 
with  that  will  have  to  answer  that  question. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  say  the  Communists  in  Hollywood  follow 
the  party  line,  directions  laid  down  by  Moscow? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Rigidly. 

Mr.  Stripling.  It  is  requested  in  all  of  their  activities  there? 

Mr.  JNIenjou.  Yes,  sir  . 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  elaborate  on  that  point  anj^  Mr.  Menjou? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  am  tryino;  to  thiuk  how  I  can  help  you.  We  have 
had  a  very  disastrous  strike  in  Hollywood,  and  a  very  long  one.  It  has 
been  going  on  now  for  more  than  a  year.  Mr.  Son-ell  is  the  head  of  the 
organization  whose  members  are  out  on  strike.  I  believe,  according  to 
the  testimony  I  have  here,  that  Mr.  Sorrell  is  a  member  of  the  Com- 
munist Party  under  the  name  of  Herbert  K.  Stewart.  I  have  a  photo- 
static copy  of  the  purported  Communist  card  and  the  sworn  testimony 
of  Mr.  Sellers,  admittedly  the  w^orld's  greatest  handwriting  expert. 
Based  on  the  fact,  I  believe,  that  Mr.  Sorrell  is  a  Communist,  I  would 
be  very  suspicious  of  any  of  the  people  who  either  stood  on  a  platform 
with  him  or  supported  any  of  his  activities  or  statements.  This  strike 
was  a  particularly  bloody  strike. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  the  committee  have  that  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  photostat. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  We  would  like  to  receive  this  into  evidence,  Mr. 
Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  it  is  so  ordered.-*' 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  of  some  of  the  actors  or  other  people 
who  are  prominent  in  the  motion-picture  industry  who  did  associate 
with  Mr.  Sorrell  in  his  activities  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  attended  a  meeting  of  the  entire  membership  of  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild.  I  am  not  too  certain  of  this  date,  but  it  might 
have  been  a  year  ago.  The  meeting  was  called  in  order  to  try  to  settle 
the  strike.  Now,  the  board  of  directors  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  had 
exerted  all  of  their  efforts  to  settle  this  strike  in  everyway  possible. 
I  think  a  magnificent  job  was  done  by  the  board  of  directors,  particu- 
larly Mr.  Regan,  the  president.  After  long,  long  deliberations  and 
trips  to  Chicago  and  everywhere  else,  they  finally  came  to  the  conclu- 
sion that  it  was  a  jurisdictional  strike  and  could  have  been  settled,  but 
Mr.  Sorrell  did  not  want  to  settle  it.  That  was  the  conclusion  made. 
This  meeting  was  called  by  a  group  of  350  people.  I  think  that  is  the 
necessary  amount,  according  to  our  bylaws,  to  call  such  a  meeting. 
Mr.  Regan  spoke  for,  I  think,  more  than  an  hour  and  a  half,  explain- 
ing the  position  and  the  work  and  the  labors  that  he  had  gone  through 
to  try  to  determine  who  was  right  or  who  was  wrong,  because  there  was 
an  eiffort  being  made  to  call  all  the  actors  out  on  strike,  which  would 
hine  thrown  !-ome  thirty-odd-thousand  people  out  of  work. 

Now,  then,  that  particular  evening  the  opposition  wanted  to  be 
heard.  Mr.  Sorrell  spoke.  Following  Mr.  Sorrell  appeared  Mr.  Ed- 
ward G.  Robinson,  Mr.  Cronin,  Mr.  Alexander  Knox,  and  Mr.  Paul 
Henreid.  They  all  admitted  what  a  wonderful  job  Mr.  Regan  had 
done,  but  they  wanted  the  strike  settled  on  Mr.  Sorrell's  side,  which, 

■"  See  appendix,  p.  525,  for  exhibit  28. 


98  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

in  my  opinion,  would  liave  meant  more  trouble,  more  chaos,  and  no 
solution  to  the  trouble,  excepting  that  the  uni(ms  would  have  been 
under  the  complete  domination  of  thevConununist  Party.  That  is  my 
opinion. 

I  think  sanity  prevailed.  There  was  a  motion  presented  by  myself 
that  the  membership  stand  by  its  duly  elected  board  of  directors,  which 
was  majority  voted,  and  the  meeting  was  over. 

Now,  I  personally  would  never  have  been  seen  with  Mr.  Sorrell  if 
I  coidd  help  it.  He  is  responsible  for  the  most  incredible  brutality — 
beatings,  the  overturning  of  cars  on  private  property  in  front  of  the 
Warner  Bros,  studio,  shocking  parades,  where  one  man  almost  lost  an 
eye  in  front  of  the  MGM  studio — a  most  outrageous  performance  and 
violation  of  the  jiicketing  laws  in  California. 

I  think  he  did  everything  possible  to  embarrass  the  producers.  I 
don't  believe  the  Communist  Party  has  any  intention  of  ever  having 
any  peace  of  any  kind,  and  I  would  regret  the  day  that  a  man  of  Mr. 
Sorrel Ps  characteristics  should  ever  be  in  charge  of  the  labor  unions 
in  California.     God  help  us  if  he  ever  does. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  Mr.  John  Howard  Lawson  ? 

Mr.  Mexjou.  I  do  not. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  heard  of  him? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  him  by  reputation  ? 

]\Ir.  Menjou.  Only  by  hearsay. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  heard  a  charge  that  he  was  head  of 
the  Communist  Party  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  He  directed  their  affairs? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  have  heard  that,  but  I  cannot  testify  to  it  because 
I  do  not  know. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  he  participated  in  the 
picket  line  at  Warner  Bros,  studio,  when  the  cars  were  overturned  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  do  not  know  that ;  I  am  sorry. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  what  do  you  think  is  the  best  way  to  go 
about  combating  communism  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  think  a  great  deal  already  has  been  done.  The 
first  meeting  of  this  committee  has  already  alerted  many  apathetic 
})eople.  many  people  who  are  not  aware  of  the  incredibly  serious  men- 
ace that  faces  America.  They  don't  take  the  trouble  to  read.  I  am 
huve  that  some  of  my  fellow  actors  who  have  attacked  this  committee 
and  myself  had  they  taken  the  time  to  read  and  study  would  be  of 
exactly  the  same  opinion  as  I  am.  I  believe  that  95  percent  of  the 
l)eo]3le  in  California  are  decent,  honest  American  citizens.  The  Com- 
munist Party  is  a  minority,  but  a  dangerous  minority.  I  believe  that 
the  entire  Nation  should  be  alerted  to  its  menace  today.  In  my  opin- 
ion, the  Commintern  has  never  been  dissolved  and  the  new  Commin- 
foini  which  meets  in  Belgrade  is  simply  an  opening.  No  one  seems  to 
blow  why  they  have  come  out  into  the  open.  They  have  always  been 
underground  before.  The  proof  that  they  are  in  existence  is  the  letter 
from  Mr.  DuBois,  the  pastry  cook,  one  of  the  heads  of  the  Communist 
Party,  wrote  to  the  Conununist  Party  in  New  York,  which  was  pub- 
lished in  the  Daily  Worker,  forced  Mr.  Browder,  the  former  head  of 
the  Communist  P'arty,  out  of  the  party.     Presumably  Mr.  Browder 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  99 

had  no  trouble  getting  a  passport  to  go  to  Moscow  and  returned  to 
represent  the  Connnunist  book  trust  in  New  York.  I  don't  think  any- 
body is  being  fooled  by  this.  But  the  American  people  are  not  alert. 
If  a  Gallup  poll  in  California  shows  that  50  percent  of  the  people  have 
never  heard  of  the  Taft-Hartley  bill,  you  can  imagine  how  apathetic 
and  how  ignorant  most  of  them  are  of  this  subject. 

I  have  a  list  of  books  here — I  published  a  list  of  over  35  books — and 
if  you  will  bear  with  me  and  if  I  have  the  time  I  would  like  to  read  a 
list  of  books  which  I  would  advise  every  man,  woman,  and  child  in 
America  to  read.  They  will  then  get  a  picture  of  this  oriental  tyranny, 
this  Commmiist-dominated  conspiracy  to  take  the  world  over  by  force. 
It  will  take  the  words  out  of  Mr.  Lenin's  mouth,  out  of  Mr.  Stalin's 
mouth.  Mr.  Molotov  is  a  member  of  the  Politburo.  Mr.  Vishinsky 
I  consider  simply  a  puppet. 

First,  I  would  like  to  ask  them  to  read  Das  Kapital,  by  Karl  Marx ; 
then  the  Max  Eastman  condensation;  then  a  magnificent  book  called 
The  Ked  Prussian;  The  Dream  We  Lost,  by  Fred  A.  Utley;  Report 
on  Russians,  by  Paul  Winiton,  who  spent  14  years  in  Moscow  as  a  cor- 
respondent; Towards  Soviet  America,  by  William  Z.  Foster,  present 
head  of  the  Communist  Party  in  America,  where  on  page  275  he  ad- 
vocates the  liquidation  of  the  American  Legion,  the  rotary  clubs,  all 
fraternal  organizations,  arming  of  the  farmers  and  arming  of  the 
workers,  with  a  dictatorship  of  the  proletariat  to  take  America  over 
by  force.  That  is  page  275  of  Towards  Soviet  America.  You  will 
have  trouble  getting  the  book.     You  will  have  to  advertise  for  it. 

Yogi  and  the  Commissar,  by  Arthur  Koestler,  one  of  the  magnifi- 
cent writers  living  today  who  was  a  Communist  member  of  the  party. 
He  spent  a  great  deal  of  time  in  Russia.  Dark  Side  of  the  Moon.  1 
defy  anyone  to  read  that  without  being  frightened  to  death.  That  is 
a  documentary  testimony,  edited  by  T.  S.  Elliott,  of  the  1,750,000, 
estimated,  Poles,  innocent  Polish  people  taken  into  concentration 
camps  by  the  Russians  in  early  1939.  The  three  books  by  Mr.  Dallin, 
particularly  his  book,  which  will  be  in  Look  magazine,  Slave  Labor  in 
Communist  Russia.  Over  at  Uncle  Joe's,  a  magnificent  book  by 
Atkinson;  Russian  Report,  by  William  White;  I  Chose  Freedom,  by 
Victor  Kravechenko;  One  Who  Survived;  Why  They  Behave  Like 
Russians,  by  Fisher;  In  Search  of  Soviet  Gold,  by  Littlepage;  and 
one  of  the  best  books  of  all,  Pattern  for  World  Revolution,  written 
anonymously. 

This  is  only  a  very,  very  small  list  of  books,  but  I  guarantee  you 
that  anyone  that  reads  them  will  fear  for  the  safety  of  America. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  yesterday  Mr.  Wood,  Mr.  Sam  Wood, 
testified  that  he  considered  members  of  the  Communist  Party  in  this 
country  to  be  the  agents  of  a  foreign  i)rincipal.  Do  you  share  that 
opinion  with  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Menjol;.  The  members  of  the  Communist  Party  in  the  United 
States  unquestionably,  in  my  mind,  are  agents  of  the  Commintern  in 
Moscow  or  the  Coinminform  in  Belgi'ade,  or  wherever  it  is.  The 
papers  found,  on  I  think  it  was  Professor  May,  who  is  now  in  jail, 
the  Polish-born  member  of  the  Canadian  Parliament,  would  prove 
to  me  conclusively  that  the  Commintern  has  never  stopped  working. 
This  was  a  sop  to  America. 


100  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Strii'lixg.  Do  you  consider  that  the  Communist  Party  members 
in  this  countr}^  are  onftaged  in  treasonable  activities? 

Mr.  Men.tou.  Deiiiiitely. 

Mr.  S'rKirLixG.  Mr.  Menjou,  this  committee  also  has  a  legislative 
function  as  well  as  an  investigative  function.  During  this  session 
there  were  two  bills  introduced  Avhich  sought  to  outlaw  the  Commu- 
nist Party.  Do  you  think  that  the  Communist  Party  should  be  out- 
lawed by  legislation? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  believe  that  the  Communist  Party  in  the  United 
States  should  be  outlawed  by  the  Congress  of  the  United  States.  It  is 
not  a  i)olitical  party.  It  is  a  conspiracy  to  take  over  our  Government 
by  force,  which  would  enslave  the  American  people,  as  the  Soviet  Gov- 
ernment— 14  members  of  the  Politburo — hold  the  Russian  people  in 
abject  slavery.  Any  one  of  a  dozen  books  will  prove  it.  This  is  not 
hearsay.  Dozens  of  other  testimony  will  prove  what  horrors  are 
going  on  in  Russia  today,  so  horrible  that  you  cannot  read  them 
without  becoming  ill. 

Now,  we  don't  want  that  here. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  Mr.  Menjou,  there  has  been  quite  a  bit  said 
and  written  in  the  Communist  publications  and  certain  left-wing 
organizations  have  circulated  pamphlets  to  the  effect  that  this  com- 
mittee is  trying  to  bring  about  thought  control. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  also  have  heard  many  other  words — "witch- 
hunting."  I  am  a  witch-hunter  if  the  witches  are  Communists.  I  am  a 
Red-baiter.  I  make  no  bones  about  it  whatsoever.  I  would  like  to  see 
them  all  back  in  Russia.  I  think  a  taste  of  Russia  would  cure  many 
of  them.  Unfortunately,  people  in  Europe  who  have  not  faced  the 
Russians  do  not  realize  the  method.  That  is  one  of  the  great  troubles 
in  France.  They  are  faced  with  French  Communists  and  not  Russians. 
All  of  those  nations — Rumania,  Bulgaria,  Hungary,  Austria,  the 
Russian  zone  in  Germany — that  have  had  to  come  in  contact  with  the 
Russian  Army  realize  what  a  menace  this  is. 

There  would  have  been  much  more  of  an  overwhelming  vote  for 
General  De  Gaulle  if  these  people  realized  it.  They  don't  realize  it. 
They  don't  read.  They  don't  study.  The  masses  of  Russian  officers 
who  have  come  to  the  American  headquarters  and  asked  how  they  can 
get  into  America.  The  escape  of  the  Russian  general  who  is  now  in 
Buenos  Aires.  The  capture  of  the  young  senior  lieutenant  who  tried 
to  commit  suicide  rather  than  to  return  to  his  country.  With  the 
hundreds  of  suicides  of  those  who  faced  return  there,  I  think  it  is 
shocking  that  the  United  States  should  ever  return  anybody  back  to 
the  Soviet  Union. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Menjou,  yesterday  there  was  placed  in  the 
record  the  salaries  of  three  writers  who  were  employed  in  the  motion- 
picture  industry,  whose  salaries  exceeded  $70,000  yer  year.  They  had 
been  identified  as  Communists,  and  the  committee  had  records  con- 
cerning these  three  men.  How  do  you  account  for  a  person  who  would 
have  such  an  income  subscribing  to  the  Comnuniist  philosophy  ? 

Mr.  IMenjou.  Well,  Frederick  Engels,  who  supported  Karl  Marx 
his  entire  life,  was  a  millionaire.  He  had  a  very  large  textile  factory 
in  Germanv  and  a  very  large  one  in  England.  We  find  crackpots  every- 
where. We  have  in  California  what  I  call  the  lunatic  fringe,  the 
political  idiots,  the  morons,  the  dangerous  Communists,  and  those  who 
have  yet  to  be  convinced.  '  I  don't  accuse  anybody,  because  we  are 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY  101 

curing  people  every  day.  Tliere  has  been  an  amazing  change  in  Holly- 
wood in  the  attitude  of  many  people  since  this  connnittee  has  started 
to  function  and  also  due  to  the  activities  of  the  INIotion  Picture  Alliance. 
These  people  only  have  to  be  told  and  have  to  see.  The  only  danger- 
ous one  is  the  hard,  disciplined  core  of  the  Communist  Party  them- 
selves. These  people  I  do  not  know.  I  have  never  seen  one.  The  only 
Communist  I  ever  met  was  Mr.  Maisky,  the  Ambassador  to  London, 
and  I  fear  he  has  either  been  liquidated  or  shunted  off  somewhere  for 
some  deviation.  His  name  has  disappeared  completely  from  the 
newspapers. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at 
this  time. 

The  Chairman".  Mr,  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  Mr.  Menjou,  do  I  understand  from  your  testimony  that 
it  is  your  opinion  that  the  producers  themselves  and  the  responsible 
studio  heads  in  Hollywood  are  not  communistic  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  They  are  as  fine  a  group  of  men  as  I  ever  met.  I 
have  worked  with  them  for  34  years,  and  I  don't  think  any  of  them 
are  Communists.  I  think  due  to  the  fact  that  the  Communist  Party 
in  America  is  a  legal  party  has  prevented  them  from  taking  certain 
action  against  very  excellent  writers.  There  are  some  very  excellent 
writers  among  those  leftist  writers.  They  don't  have  to  always  write 
communistically,  at  all.  Some  of  them  have  contributed  much  to 
some  of  our  finest  motion  pictures,  in  which  there  was  no  communism 
whatsoever, 

I  think  the  producers  in  California,  as  I  say,  are  as  patriotic  a  group 
of  Americans  as  you  will  meet  anywhere.  • 

Mr.  Wood.  It  was  suggested  yesterday  in  the  testimony  of  one  of 
the  witnesses  by  a  member  of  the  committee  that  the  producers  them- 
selves should  get  together  and  by  concerted  action  eliminate  these 
people  who  are  affected  with  Communist  tendencies  from  the  in- 
dustry. Do  you  agree  with  me  that  that  would  involve  or  not  involve 
some  very  serious  legal  implications  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  believe  it  would. 

Mr.  Wood.  Under  existing  law? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  spoke  to  Senator  Taft  about  that  the  other  day,  and 
he  n  creed  also. 

Mr.  Wood.  Would  you  then  feel  that  a  recommendation  to  the 
Congress  by  this  committee  to  so  modify  existing  law  as  to  permit 
just  that  to  be  done  would  have  a  wholesale  effect? 

Mr.  Menjou.  ISIr.  Wood,  I  feel  this  way :  If  the  Communists  would 
come  out  in  the  open,  let  us  know  who  they  are,  because  they  can  be 
watched.  I  am  told  by  Mr.  Edgar  Hoover,  who  is  a  very  close  personal 
friend  of  mine,  that  he  is  against  driving  the  Communist  Party  under- 
ground. They  are  now  underground.  I  want  to  bring  them  out  so 
we  can  see  who  they  are.  I  feel,  about  pictures,  that  propaganda 
pictures  should  be  labeled  propaganda  as  such  and  propaganda  should 
be  not  injected  into  entertainment.  I  feel  that  if  an  anti-Fascist 
picture  is  made,  an  anti-Communist  picture  should  be  made  next, 
because  I  am  anti-Fascist  as  well  as  I  am  anti-Communist.  The 
German-American  Bund  was  driven  underground,  if  you  want  to 
call  it  such.  I  believe  all  their  members  are  known.  But  they  cannot 
go  on  the  air.     The}?^  cannot  have  meetings.     They  cannot  get  con- 


102  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

verts.  Therefore,  tliey  ai-e  made  impotent.  I  want  to  know  tliese 
Communists.  We  want  to  see  them.  I  am  not  afraid  of  communism 
in  America  if  it  is  out  in  the  open.  I  am  not  afraid.  The  American 
people  will  reject  it  openly,  if  they  know  what  it  is.  I  would  like 
to  see  it  outlawed. 

Mr.  Wood.  That  is  all,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  CiiAiRjiAN.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Menjou,  on  this  matter  of  outlawing  the  Com- 
munist Party,  the  party  has  been  outlawed  in  Canada,  Panama,  and 
various  other  nations  of  the  world.  So  far  as  I  could  study  their 
situations,  the  results  haven't  been  much  different.  There  are  many 
Communists  now  in  Canada.  Canada  now  faces  the  business  of  arrest- 
ing those  that  are  known  Communists  and  proven  Communists.  They 
go  through  trials.  But  it  hasn't  apparently  slowed  the  number  of 
Communists  that  are  in  Canada. 

Mr.  Menjou.  You  are  not  going  to  slow  down  the  hard  core  of  the 
disciplined  Communist.  He  is  going  to  be  there  all  the  time.  He 
simply  has  to  be  watched. 

To  take  the  producers  in  the  picture  business — if  I  may  partially 
answer  Mr.  Wood  again — a  man,  let  us  say,  like  Mr.  Mayer  or  Mr. 
Warner,  who  testified  yesterday,  it  is  practically  impossible  for  them 
to  see  every  foot  of  film  made  in  their  studios.  They  make  too  many. 
They  haven't  the  time.  They  couldn't  possibly  do  it.  Both  of  them 
are  anti-Communist  to  the  core ;  that  I  know.  You  will  see,  and  have 
seen,  very,  very  little  of  what  I  would  call  anything  like  subversion 
because,  as  I  say,  of  the  activities  of  the  alliance  and  due  to  the  publicity 
that  has  been  giveji  out.  This  publicity  is  healthy.  That  is  why  I  am 
proud  to  be  before  the  committee,  because  these  things  can  be  heard  and 
brought  out.  Being  so  busy  that  they  cannot  do  it,  the  under  producers 
in  the  studio  do  the  engaging  of  the  writers. 

Mr.  Mayer  doesn't  hire  any  writers.  That  is  done  by  other  people. 
Now,  if  these  people  are  watched  constantly,  they  can  do  no  harm. 
They  can't  do  any  harm. 

I  wouldn't  want  to  deprive  anybody  from  making  his  bread  and  but- 
ter. I  think  these  people  can  be  taught.  I  think,  if  their  party  is 
outlawed,  the  thing  that  worries  me  about  the  party  is  its  connection 
with  Moscow,  which  is  dedicated  to  the  overthrow  of  this  Government 
by  force,  and  every  other  government.  Any  study  of  the  situation  in 
Bulgaria,  Rumania,  or  Hungary  must  api)all  people.  They  must 
frighten  them  to  death.     We  don't  want  that  here. 

If  the  capitalistic  system  does  as  well  in  the  next  50  years  as  it  has 
done  in  the  last  50,  there  will  be  no  trouble  at  all  in  this  comitry, 
believe  me. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Menjou,  I  believe  I  told  you  last  May,  on  the 
west  coast,  that  of  all  the  thousands  of  people  I  have  discussed  com- 
munism with  you  have  the  most  profound  knowledge  of  the  background 
of  communism  I  have  ever  met. 

With  that  knowledge,  with  your  study  of  Karl  Marx  and  modern 
communism,  I  would  like  to  ask  anothef  question.  There  has  been 
a  great  deal  of  propaganda  in  the  United  States  and  other  countries 
here  in  the  last  2  years  that  the  Soviet  Government  has  relaxed  its 
opposition  to  religion — churches.  I  have  even  heard  speakers  from 
the  Soviet  Union  say  that  church  attendance  was  encouraged.     Do  you 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  103 

think  the  ardent  Soviet  Government  has  changed  in  any  respect  from 
the  original  Marxian  commmiism? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  think  they  were  requested.  I  don't  know  who  made 
the  request.  It  was  somebody  from  the  Government  some  4  or  5  years 
ago  that  requested  they  relax  their  attitude  toward  religion.  The 
Conmiunist  Party  itself  will  never  relax  it.  They  are  anti-God.  They 
are  atheistic,  the  party  itself.  The  Russian  people  are  deeply,  dee])ly 
religious  people,  and  their  cry  for  religion  is  very  great.  They  have 
been  permitted  to  go  to  church,  yes,  but  I  think  that  everybody  has 
been  watched  very  carefully.  Father  Brown,  who  was  the  only  Catho- 
lic priest  permitted  in  Russia  for  many  years,  had  a  small  group  of 
people  coming  to  his  church.  The  government  itself  has  never  i"e- 
laxed  its  attitude  toward  religion  at  all. 

It  is  still  there  in  the  Red  Square  that  "religion  is  the  opiate  ofthe 
masses  and  the  Communist  Party  itself."  They  have  relaxed  nothing, 
nothing.  They  allow  a  few  more  people  to  go  to  church,  but  they 
watch  everybody.  The  secret  police  watch  the  people  so  carefully 
that  they  have  complete  control  over  there.  They  have  complete  con- 
trol.   The  Russian  people  are  completely  enslaved. 

Mr,  Vishinsky  is  enslaved.  Mr.  Molotov  is  enslaved.  They  are  all 
frightened  to  death.  Mr.  Stalin  would  just  as  soon  kill  them  as  look 
at  them.  He  killed  all  his  close  friends.  There  is  excellent  evidence 
that  he  poisoned  Lenin,  Gorky,  and  that  he  also  executed  the  pharma- 
cist, the  head  of  the  NKVD  at  the  time,  who  was  the  witness.  He  acted 
very  much  like  Mr.  Capone.  He  committed  the  murders  and  then 
killed  the  witnesses. 

Mr.  McDowELi..  ]\Ir.  Chairman,  in  addition  to  being  a  great  Ameri- 
can, here  is  one  of  the  greatest  American  patriots  I  have  ever  met. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  Menjou,  do  you  think  there  is  justification  for  the 
action  of  this  committee  in  its  instituting  an  investigation  of  Commu- 
nist activities  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Mexjou.  Do  I  think  so?    Certainly. 

Mr.  Vail,.  In  the  daily  papers  in  the  past  few  days  I  noticed  a 
statement  that  was  signed  by  a  number  of  prominent  Hollywood 
actors  and  actresses  deploring  the  investigation  and  describing  it  as  a 
smear.  What  is  your  impression  of  the  people  who  were  signatoi*y  to 
that  statement  ? 

Mr.  Mexjou.  I  am  just  as  shocked  and  amazed — which  I  believe 
were  their  words — as  they  said  they  were  shocked  and  amazed.  I 
don't  believe  any  of  them  has  ever  made  a  serious  study  of  the  subject. 
I  believe  they  are  innocent  dupes;  that  is  my  impression  of  them,  in- 
nocent dupes. 

I  guarantee  not  one  of  them  could  name  four  men  on  the  Politburo ; 
I  guarantee  not  one  of  them  could  name  a  date  or  an  action  against 
Russia  or  a  violation  of  the  antiaggression  pacts  which  Mr.  Stalin 
violated.  If  these  people  will  only  read  and  read  and  read  and  read, 
they  will  wake  up.  I  have  all  the  sympathy  in  the  world  for  them ;  I 
am  sorry  for  them. 

Mr.  Vail.  I  have  no  more  questions. 

The  Chairmax.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixox.  Mr.  Menjou,  from  what  you  have  said  to  charge  a 
person  with  being  a  Communist  is  a  very  serious  thing  ? 


104  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE    INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  would  not  want  that  charge  made? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Without  substantiation,  that  is  right.  That  is  play- 
ing right  into  the  Communists'  hands. 

Mr.  NrxoN.  In  answer  to  a  question  by  Mr.  Stripling  you  indicated 
that  although  you  might  not  know  whether  a  certain  person  was  a 
Communist,  I  think  you  said  he  certainly  acted  like  a  Communist. 

Mr.  Menjou.  If  you  belong  to  a  Communist-front  organization  and 
you  take  no  action  against  the  Communists,  you  do  not  resign  from 
the  organization  when  you  still  know  the  organization  is  dominated 
by  Communists,  I  consider  that  a  very,  very  dangerous  thing. 

Mr.  XixoN.  Have  you  any  other  tests  whicli  you  would  apply  which 
Avould  indicate  to  you  that  people  acted  like  Communists? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  think  attending  any  meetings  at  which  Mr. 
Paul  Robeson  appeared  and  applauding  or  listening  to  his  Communist 
songs  in  America,  I  would  be  ashamed  to  be  seen  in  an  audience  doing  a 
thing  of  that  kind. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  indicated  you  thought  a  person  acted  like  a  Com- 
munist when  he  stated,  as  one  person  did  to  you,  that  capitalism 
was  through. 

Mr.  Menjou.  That  is  not  communistic  per  se,  but  it  is  very  danger- 
ous leaning,  it  is  very  close.  I  see  nothing  wrong  with  the  capitalistic 
system,  the  new  dynamic  capitalism  in  America  today.  Mr.  Stalin 
was  very  worried  when  he  talked  to  Mr.  Stassen.  He  asked  him  four 
times  when  the  great  crash  was  coming  in  America.  That  is  what  they 
are  banking  on,  a  great  crash,  and  I  do  not  think  it  is  coming. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  indicated  that  belonging  to  a  Communist-front 
organization,  in  other  words,  an  association  with  Communists,  attend- 
ing these  planned  meetings,  making  statements  in  opposition  to  the 
capitalistic  system  are  three  of  the  tests  you  would  apply. 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Do  you  have  any  other  tests  from  your  experience  you 
would  like  to  give  this  committee? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  don't  know  of  any  better  ones. 

Mr.  NixoN.  Do  you  believe  that  the  motion-picture  industry  at  the 
present  time  is  doing  everything  it  can  to  rid  itself  of  subversive 
un-American  influences  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  I  do.  I  believe  it  has  been  that  way  for  almost 
"a  year,  or  maybe  a  little  more  than  a  year. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  see  no  further  steps  the  industry  can  take  at  this 
time  that  it  has  not  taken  in  the  past? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Except  eternal  vigilance  that  every  American  and 
every  citizen  of  the  United  States  should  exercise  toward  communism. 
1  would  rather  label  it  as  Stalinism;  there  is  no  such  thing  as 
communism. 

^Ir.  Nixon.  Do  you  feel  congressional  action  is  necessary  in  order 
10  assist  the  industry  in  going  aiw  further  with  this  campaign? 

Mr.  Menjou.  This  is  a  secret  organization.  Very  few  people  admit 
to  being  members  of  it,  only  a  few,  and  of  course  their  records  are 
disgraceful.  Mr.  Mate  of  the  French  Communist  Party  was  sentenced 
to  20  years  for  mutiny;  Mr.  Torres  was  sentenced  to  6'  years  for  deser- 
tion. Mr.  Eugene  Dennis,  one  of  the  members  in  New  York,  has  a 
police  record  in  California.  I  think  I  would  keep  away  from  those  kind 
of  people;  at  least  I  have  been  taught  that  way. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  105 

Mv.  Nixon.  Getting  down  to  specific  cases  as  to  what  the  industry 
should  do 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  To  rid  itself  of  un-American  activities  in  Hollywood  if, 
for  example,  a  producer  were  to  be  given  unequivocal  proof  that  one  of 
his  star  actors  was  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  do  you  believe 
that  that  producer  has  tlie  responsibility  as  an  American  not  to  renew 
that  person's  contract? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Well,  I  would  not  want  to  say  that.  I  was  one  of  the 
persons  most  deeply  shocked  when  Mr.  Cecil  B.  DeMille  was  deprived 
of  his  job  on  the  radio.  I  thought  that  was  perfectly  shocking.  I 
asked  Mr.  Cromwell  about  that  and  he  said,  "He  is  rich."  I  said,  "What 
has  wealth  to  do  with  the  matter  ?"  . 

I  think  Mr.  DeMille  showed  incredible  moral  courage,  more  than  I 
have,  in  giving  his  job  up.  He  cannot  work  any  more  on  the  radio 
because  he  refused  to  put  up  a  dollar  for  political  purposes.  The 
Taft-Hartley  Act  has  negated  all  that.  I  don't  believe  that  an  actor, 
if  he  is  a  member  of  a  Communist  Party  and  is  careful  to  state  that — 
I  think  the  public  will  take  care  of  him. 

Mr.  Nixon.  In  other  words,  you  believe  the  producer  in  that  case 
would  be  justified  in  keeping  him  in  his  employment  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  He  won't  last  long  if  he  is  labeled  as  a  Communist. 

Mr.  Nixon.  What  if  a  producer  is  informed  that  a  writer  he  has  in 
his  employ  is  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party,  what  should  his 
action  be  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  He  could  be  very  carefully  watched;  this  producer 
could  watch  every  script  and  every  scene  of  every  script.  We  have 
many  Communist  writers  who  are  splendid  writers.  They  do  not  have 
to  write  communistically  at  all,  but  they  have  to  be  watched. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Your  answer  would  be  the  same  in  case  he  learned  that 
ix  director  or  one  of  the  top  employees  in  the  particular  industry  was 
a  member  of  a  Communist  Party  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir.  I  am  firmly  convinced  of  the  evils  of  Stalin- 
ism or  Marxism ;  it  is  so  evil  and  it  is  such  a  menace  to  the  American 
people  that  I  think  it  should  be  watched  and  watched  and  watched. 

Mr.  NixoN.  Then  so  far  as  your  program  is  concerned,  what  you 
advocate  is  publicity  of  the  fact  that  certain  people  in  the  industry  are 
Communists? 

Mr.  Menjou.  If  they  are  members  of  the  Communist  Party  they 
should  say  so. 

Mr.  Nixox.  And  once  that  publicity  is  given  by  vigilance  on  the 
j)art  of  the  producers  and  those  responsible  for  the  films  that  go  to  the 
public  they  can  see  that  no  un-American  propaganda  ge|;s  into  those 
films  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Yes,  sir.  I  have  no  objection.  Mr.  Nixon,  to  com- 
munistic picture  propaganda  if  it  is  so  labeled  an  an  honest,  faithful 
picture.  I  would  like  to  see  it.  I  would  like  to  see  pictures  of  the 
])eople  at  the  place  where  Mr.  Wallace  made  his  speech;  I'woidd  like 
the  American  people  to  see  that.  That  would  be  an  honest  picture  of 
what  is  going  on  in  Russia  today. 

Mr.  Nixon.  If  we  refuse  to  allow  a  Communist  picture  to  be  made 
and  advertised  as  such  we  would  probably  be  falling  into  the  same 
error  that  we  criticize  the  Communists  for  in  Russia,  is  that  right? 


106  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  agree. 

Mr.  Nixon.  In  other  words,  they  will  not  allow  a  picture  showing 
the  democratic  way  of  life  in  Russia  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  also  believe  the  Russians  should  be  treated  exactly 
as  they  treat  us.  I  would  treat  them  visa  for  visa.  If  there  are  218 
Americans  in  Moscow  today  there  shouldn't  be  3,046  Russians  in 
America  because  they  are  all  spies,  every  one  of  them.  There  should 
be  218  Russians  in  America.  Treat  them  exactly  as  they  treat  us. 
For  every  American  in  Moscow  we  should  allow  one  here.  I  think  we 
are  2  years  late  in  our  firm  attitude;  we  are  verj'  far  behind. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Menjou,  why  have  no  anti-Communist  films 
been  made  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Menjou.  There  are  a  great  manv  anti-Nazi  films  made ;  I  do  not 
know.  Some  have  been  announced  as  bein^  in  preparation.  The  title 
"The  Iron  Curtain"  is,  I  think,  copyrighted  by  a  number  of  producers. 
I  hope  to  see  that  made.  I  would  like  to  see  an  honest  anti-Coinmunist 
picture  and  I  would  like  to  see  it  labeled  as  such,  not  as  entertainment. 

The  Chairman.  We  heard  yesterday  from  witnesses  that  at  least 
one,  possibly  two  anti-Communist  films  were  being  planned.  What 
have  you  heard  from  Hollywood  as  to  the  feeling  on  the  part  of  the 
producers  about  producing  anti-Communist  films? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  believe  they  would  be  an  incredible  success.  After 
the  first  picture  was  made  I  think  there  would  be  many  many  more 
made.  I  think  it  would  be  a  very  wonderful  thing  to  see  one  made. 
I  wx)uld  like  to  see  a  picture  of  the  Bulgarian  situation :  I  would  like 
to  see  the  execution  of  Mr.  Patkoff  by  Mr.  Dimitrich  who  was  former 
head  of  the  Commintern.  I  woidd  like  to  see  that  shown  to  the  Ameri- 
can public  so  they  can  see  communism  as  it  actually  is. 

I  would  like  them  to  see  the  brutal  beatings,  the  stabbings,  the 
killings  that  go  on  all  througli  Europe  with  which  the  Communist 
Party  is  facing  the  people. 

We  showed  many  many  anti-Nazi  ])ictures.  I  see  no  reason  why 
we  do  not  show  anti-Communist  pictures. 

The  Chairman.  Why  don't  we  show  them  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  don't  know.     I  hope  they  are  going  to  show  them. 

The  Chairman.  It  has  been  said  in  the  press  by  certain  individuals 
in  the  United  States  that  these  hearings  now  being  held  by  the  Un- 
American  Activities  Committee  are  a  censorship  of  the  screen.  Wliat 
have  you  to  say  about  that  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  think  that  is  juvenile. 

The  Chairman.  So  anybody  that  would  make  such  a  statement 
would  be  considered  as  such  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  It  is  perfectly  infantile  to  say  this  committee  is  trying 
to  control  the  industry.  How  could  they  possibly  control  the  industry  ? 
They  wouldn't  know  anything  about  it.  You  wouldn't  know  how  to 
make  a  picture  or  anything  else.  I  don't  see  how  that  could  be  said 
by  any  man  with  the  intelligence  of  a  louse. 

The  Chairman.  As  a  result  of  testifying  here,  that  is,  when  the 
actors  testify  and  when  the  writers  testify,  when  persons  in  labor 
testify,  will  their  testimony  and  the  fact  that  they  have  testified  before 
his  committee  injure  their  livelihood  in  any  way  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  I  shouldn't  think  it  would  injure  it  seriously.  I  be- 
lieve there  are  many  people  in  the  picture  industry  that  would  not 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  107 

liavo  me  in  a  ])iclui'e  Avilli  them.  1  think  tliis  has  oone  too  far  in 
Hollywood.  The  Jine  of  cleava<>e  is  very  strai<>lit.  It  isn't  like  a 
good  Kepublican  or  a  good  Democrat.  This  is  a  foul  philosophy  and 
it  has  embittered  many  many  people. 

I  think  Mr.  Vishinsky  and  Mr.  Molotov  have  done  a  most  mag- 
nihcent  job  of  awakening  the  American  people.  The  more  informa- 
tion the  American  people  get  the  moi-e  they  will  realize  it  and  the 
more  they  will  turn  against  it.  It  is  completely  against  the  American 
philosophy. 

I  would  move  to  the  State  of  Texas  if  it  ever  came  here  because  I 
think  the  Texans  would  kill  them  on  sight. 

The  Chairman.  Have  you  heard  or  do  you  know  of  any  efforts  made 
on  the  part  of  anyone  to  intimidate  witnesses  that  might  come  before 
this  committee? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Xo;  I  have  not.  When  I  went  out  to  campaign  for 
Ml-.  Dewey  and  Mr.  Bricker  in  1944  I  was  told  by  various  people  it 
w^ould  injure  my  career.  I  don't  think  it  has  and  I  think  I  had  a  right 
to  do  it.  There  is  no  way  of  proving  that.  In  Hollywood  when  your 
name  comes  up  for  a  picture  3'ou  are  one  of  seven  or  eight  actors.  I 
believe  a  person  who  was  friendly  toward  communism,  a  pro-Com- 
munist, and  who  liked  the  Communist  government  better  than  ours,  if 
I  came  up  for  a  job  he  would  choose  another  man  in  preference  to  nie, 
everything  else  being  equal.  I  do  not  consider  that  a  loss  of  a  job, 
because  we  lose  jobs  m  many  other  ways  and  we  get  them  in  many 
other  ways. 

Many  times  we  never  know  when  the  good  part  is  coming  up.  Good 
parts  make  good  actors.    The  better  the  part  the  better  the  actor. 

The  Chairman.  You  believe,  then,  it  is  the  patriotic  duty  of  a  wit- 
ness to  speak  very  frankly  and  freely  and  he  should  be  pleased  to  come 
before  the  committee  and  testify  ? 

Mr.  Menjou.  Definitely.  I  believe  that  any  man  who  is  a  decent 
American,  who  believes  in  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  and 
the  free  enterprise  system  which  has  made  this  country  what  it  is  and 
which  has  given  its  people  the  highest  standard  of  living  of  any  country 
on  the  face  of  the  earth,  I  believe  he  should  be  proud  to  stand  up  for  it 
and  not  be  afraid  to  speak. 

The  Chairman.  Do  any  other  members  of  the  committee  have  any 
questions  ? 

Mr,  McDowell.  I  would  like  to  tell  Mr.  Menjou  something  to  add 
to  his  already  great  knowledge  of  communism.  Recently  I  have  been 
examining  the  borders  of  the  United  States.  I  would  like  to  tell  you. 
Mr.  Menjou,  that  within  weeks,  not  months  but  w^eeks,  bus  loads  of 
Communists  have  crossed  the  American  border. 

Mr.  Menjou.  That  is  right.  We  have  no  air  border  patrol,  not  a 
sufficient  one,  and  we  haven't  enough  guards.  The  frontier  is  very 
long  which  we  are  guarding  and  it  is  very  easy  for  people  to  infiltrate 
from  Mexico  over  the  border. 

There  was  a  great,  profitable  industry  in  smuggling  Chinese  over  the 
border.    One  of  my  good  friends  made  a  great  deal  of  money  doing  it. 

I  believe  America  should  arm  to  tlip  teeth.  I  believe  in  universal 
military  training.  I  attended  Culver  Military  Academy  during  t)ie 
last  war  and  enlisted  as  a  private.  Due  to  my  military  training  I  was 
soon  made  an  officer  and  it  taught  me  a  great  many  things.    I  believe 


108  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

if  I  was  told  to  swim  tlie  Mississippi  River  I  would  learn  how  to  swim. 
Every  yoiin<i^  man  should  have  military  trainin<jj.  Thei-e  is  no  better 
thing  for  a  young  man  than  military  training  for  his  discipline,  for 
his  manhood,  for  his  courage,  and  for  love  of  his  country.  I  know  it 
was  good  for  me.    It  never  did  me  any  harm. 

The  Cii AIRMAN.  Any  more  questions  by  the  members? 

(No  response.) 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling,  do  you  have  any  more  questions  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  No;  no  more  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Menjou,  we  thank  you  very  much  for  coming. 
We  appreciate  your  being  here.     [Loud  applause. J 

The  Chairman,  We  will  recess  for  2  minutes. 

(A  short  recess.) 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order.  Everyone  will 
please  be  seated. 

All  right,  Mr.  Stripling,  your  next  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Jack  Moffitt. 

The  Chairman.  Stand  and  be  sworn,  please. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is 
the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  do ;  yes,  sir. 

TESTIMONY  OF  JOHN  CHARLES  MOFFITT 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  will  you  please  state  your  name  for 
the  record  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  John  Charles  Moffitt, 

Mr.  Stripling,  That  is  M-o-f-f-i-t-t? 

Ml-.  MoFFiTT.  That  is  correct, 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  here  in  response  to  a  subpena  served  on 
you  on  September  29,  Mr.  Moffitt?  ^^ 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  address  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  463  South  McAddam  Place,  Los  Angeles  5. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Please  state  when  and  where  3'ou  were  born. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  was  born  in  Kansas  City,  Mo.,  on  May  8,  1901. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  For  the  past  2  years — last  yeav  and  this  ji-ear  ending 
in  December — I  have  been  the  motion-picture  critic  for  Esquire  maga- 
zine. Prior  to  that  for  some  15  years  I  was  motion-picture  editor  of 
the  Kansas  City  Star  in  Kansas  City,  Mo.  I  was  also  a  writer  on 
picture  subjects  for  the  North  American  Newspaper  Alliance. 
Through  that  syndicate  my  writings  on  motion-picture  subjects  have 
been  printed  as  far  as  Madras,  India,  and  Rio  de  Janeiro. 

Also  during  the  period  I  was  the  American  critic  for  the  Era  of 
London,  the  oldest  critic  in  the  British  Empire.  It  is  now  out  of 
existence. 

I  am  a  member  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  and  accept  employment 
as  a  scenario  writer. 

Mr.  S^rRiPLiNG.  You  have  been  employed  by  the  motion-picture  in- 
dustry as  a  writer  in  the  past ;  have  you  not  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Many  times, 

-^  See  appendix,  p.  525,  for  exhibit  29. 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  109 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  give  the  committee  the  various  studios  at 
which  you  have  been  employed? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  have  been  employed  by  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,  by 
Paramount,  by  Rei)ublic,  and  by  Warner  Bros. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  When  did  you  first  go  to  Hollywood,  Mr.  Moftitt? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  also  have  been  employed  by  Universal. 

The  first  time  I  went  to  Hollywood  was  in  1930  and  '31  when  I  was 
emplo^'ed  by  Universal. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  many  years  in  all  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  That  would  be  a  little  difficult  for  me  to  answer  with- 
out a  little  calculation. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Approximately  how  many  years? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  would  say  around  10  or  12  years.  Some  of  my  time 
in  Hollywood  was  punctuated  by  a  return  to  journalism  in  Kansas 

City. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  ever  join  any  organizations  while  you  were 
in  Hollywood  in  connection  with  being  a  writer  for  the  motion-picture 
industry  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir ;  I  did.  In  1937.  shocked  by  the  conduct  of 
the  Fascists  in  Spain,  1  joined  an  organization  known  as  the  Holly- 
wood Anti-Nazi  League.  Both  my  wife  and  I  became  members  of 
that  organization.  We  contributed  considerable  sums  of  money — 
for  us — to  what  we  supposed  was  the  buying  of  ambulances  and  medi- 
cal supplies  for  the  assistance  of  the  Loyahsts  in  Spain. 

After  we  had  been  in  that  organization  some  months  we  were  in- 
vited to  what  turned  out  to  be  a  more  or  less  star  chamber  meeting, 
an  inner  corps  meeting.  It  took  place  in-  the  home  of  Mr.  Frank 
Tuttle,  a  director.  Mr.  Herbert  Biberman,  who  had  been  responsible 
for  my  being  in  the  Anti-Nazi  League,  was  there,  as  was  his  wife, 
Miss  Gail  Sondergaard,  an  actress.  Donald  Ogden  Stewart  was  also 
one  of  those  present. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Biberman  is  a  director? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  Mr,  Stewart  is  a  writer? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Mr.  Stewart  is  a  very  fine  comedy  writer. 

At  this  meeting,  to  our  intense  surprise,  we  were  addressed  as  "we 
Commmunists."  My  wife  and  I  always  hated  communism,  as  we 
hated  nazism  and  any  other  form  of  dictatorial  government,  or  slave 
state.     We  were  very  shocked. 

The  purpose  of  this  meeting,  I  believe,  was  to  raise  funds  for  the 
Peoples'  World,  a  Communist  newspaper.  My  wife  was  so  indignant 
that  as  soon  as  we  got  home  she  tendered  her  resignation.  I  was 
frankly  fascinated  by  the  way  we  had  been  sucked  in,  the  way  a 
person  who  hated  communism  had  been,  by  a  pleasant,  plausible 
come-on,  induced  to  participate  in  a  false  Communist  front. 

Mr.  Stripling.  If  I  understood  you  correctly,  Mr.  Biberman  is  the 
person  who  induced  you  to  join  the  organization  originally? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir ;  he  did.  It  didn't  take  a  great  deal  of  induce- 
ment because  I  hated  the  Nazi  then  as  I  do  now  and  I  thought  the 
purpose  of  the  organization  was  stated  in  its  title,  the  Anti-Nazi 
League. 


67683—47- 


110  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTUKE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  relate  to  the  coniniittee  your  experiences 
with  the  Anti-Nazi  League,  so  far  as  they  deal  with  any  Communist 
activities  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Well,  fascinated  by  the  subtlety  of  this  approach,  fas- 
cinated and,  I  may  say,  horrified  by  the  way  an  innocent  liberal  was 
induced  to  give  money  to  a  Communist  front  and  induced  to  lend 
what  little  prestige  his  name  might  have  professionally  to  a  commu- 
nistic activity,  I  remained  in  about  G  weeks  before  I  resigned,  in  order 
to  try  to  see  how  they  worked.  I  think  I  learned  considerable  of 
their  technique  in  that  time. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  give  the  committee  an  account  of  the 
activities  that  you  observed  as  a  member  during  those  6  weeks  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Well,  the  most  significant  activity  I  observed  came 
out  in  a  conversation  with  Mr.  John  Howard  Lawson 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  identify  Mr.  Lawson  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  He  is  a  writer,  is  he  not  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  John  Howard  Lawson  is  a  writer.  He  was  the  first 
president  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild. 

It  has  been  testified  before  the  Tenney  committee  of  the  California 
Legislature  that  Mr.  Lawson  was  sent  to  Los  Angeles  by  the  Com- 
munist Party  for  the  purpose  of  organizing  Communist  activities  in 
Hollywood.  It  was  testified  by  a  former  secretary  of  the  Communist 
Party  for  Los  Angeles  County. 

Mr.  Lawson  has  this  record,  as  far  as  I  know,  with  front  organiza- 
tions. He  was  a  sponsor  of  the  American  Youth  for  Democracy, 
which  was  formerly  the  Young  Communist  League.  He  was  a  speaker 
at  the  California  Labor  School.  He  was  sponsor  of  the  City  Com- 
mittee for  the  Defense  of  American  Youth  in  what  was  known  as  the 
Sleepy  Lagoon  case. 

I  would  like  to  point  out  that  the  Sleepy  Lagoon  case  was  an  attempt 
to  raise  a  racial  issue  in  Los  Angeles. 

As  I  understand  it,  the  actual  case  had  no  racial  implications  what- 
ever. It  was  a  murder  case  in  which  the  victim  was  a  Mexican,  the 
accused  was  Mexican,  and  the  arresting  officer  was  a  Mexican.  I  use 
the  term  "Mexican"  as  meaning  persons  of  Mexican  descent.  I  do 
not  mean  to  imply  any  discrimination  against  persons  of  Spanish  or 
Mexican  origin  when  I  say  that. 

The  victim  in  the  case  was  an  elderly,  reputable  hard-working  good 
citizen.  He,  with  some  of  his  friends  who  were  also  of  the  same 
racial  heritage,  celebrated  his  birthday  at  a  little  farm.  They  had  a 
little  wine,  some  food,  and  a  concrete  slab  on  which  they  danced. 

During  the  entertainment  a  group  of  what  we  later  came  to  call 
"zoot  suiters,"  according  to  the  testimony  of  the  arresting  officers, 
loaded  with  marihuana,  drove  up,  broke  up  the  party,  beat  the  old 
man  to  death  with  a  tire  chain  and  chased  another  of  his  friends  into 
a  pool  or  a  rock  quarry  w^here,  I  believe,  the  man  was  drowned.  I 
am  not  sure  whether  they  saved  him. 

My  impression  is  that  there  were  two  deaths. 

The  arresting  officers  were  men  from  the  Los  Angeles  Mexican  de- 
tail and  from  the  sheriff's  office.  There  was  absolutely  no  racial  dis- 
crimination issue  involved  there  until  the  Communist  Party  took  it 
over  and  endeavor  to  reframe  it,  recast  it,  and  publicize  it  as  the 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  HI 

effoi't  of  the  American  courts  to  ruili-oml  innocent  youths  because 
they  were  of  Mexican  orioin. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Lawson  \vas  affiliated  with  that  front  effort  of 
the  Communist  Party  ^ 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  He  was  sponsor  of  the  city  committee  for  the  defense 
of  these  men. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  continue  with  his  identification? 

Mr.  MorriTT.  He  was  also  an  endorser  and  has  been  an  endorser  of 
Communist  candidates  for  public  office  on  a  number  of  occasions. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  organization  for  Harry  Bridges'  defense. 
He  was  an  officer  of  the  Hollywood  Democratic  Committee. 

I  wish  to  point  out  that  according  to  the  report  of  the  Daily  Press, 
that  was  not  a  Democratic  committee  in  the  sense  of  its  being  an 
official  iind  reputable  part  of  what,  we  know  as  a  Democratic  political 
organization.     It  was  a  strong  left-wing  organization. 

He  was  an  officer  of  the  Hollywood  Independent  Citizens'  Commit- 
tee on  Arts,  Sciences,  and  the  Professions. 

He  was  an  officer  of  the  Hollywood  Writers  Mobilization,  which 
the  Tenney  committee  has  pronounced  as  communistic.  The  com- 
mittee w^as  a  refuge.  I  understand,  only  in  case  they  were  Com- 
munist refugees;  non-Comnumist  refugees  from  the  Nazi  terror  found 
it  very  difficult  to  get  assistance  from  that  organization. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mv.  Moffitt,  if  I  may  interrupt  you  at  this  point: 
Ml'.  Lawson  has  been  subpenaed  to  appear  before  the  committee  and 
will  appear  next  week.  The  committee  has  voluminous  records  of  his 
activities  so  that  I  think  you  have  given  us  sufficient  identification. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  have  more  if  you  want  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  We  will  go  back  to  your  activities  in  the  Anti-Xazi 
League. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  During  the  period  I  referred  to,  the  period  between 
the  time  I  discovered  that  this  was  a  Communist  front  organization 
and  the  period  some  6  weeks  later,  there,  w^hen  I  resigned,  I  had  several 
conversations  with  Mr.  Biberman,  Mr.  Lawson,  and  others  of  that 
organization. 

During  the  course  of  it  Mr.  Lawson  made  this  significant  statement: 
He  said : 

As  a  writer  do  not  try  to  write  an  entire  Communist  picture. 

He  said : 

The  producers  will  quickly  identify  it  and  it  will  be  killed  by  the  front  office. 

He  said : 

As  a  writer  try  to  get  .5  minutes  of  the  Communist  doctrine,  5  minutes  of  the 
party  line  in  every  script  that  you  write. 

He  said : 

Get  that  into  an  expensive  scene,  a  scene  involving  expensive  stars,  large  sets 
or  many  extras,  because — 

he  said : 

then  even  if  it  is  discovered  by  the  front  ofhce  the  business  manager  of  the  unit, 
the  very  watchdog  of  the  treasury,  the  very  servant  of  capitalism,  in  order  to 
keep  the  budget  from  going  too  high,  will  resist  the  elimination  of  that  scene. 
If  you  can  make  the  message  come  from  the  mouth  of  Gary  Cooper  or  some  other 
imijortant  star  who  is  unaware  of  what  he  is  saying,  by  the  time  it  is  discovered 


112  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

he  is  in  New  York  and  a  great  deal  of  expense  will  be  invohed  to  bring  him  back 
and  reshoot  the  scene. 

If  you  get  the  message  into  a  scene  employing  many  extras  it  will  be  very 
expensive  to  reshoot  that  scene  because  of  the  number  of  extras  involved  or  the 
amount  of  labor  that  would  be  necessary  to  light  and  reconstruct  a  large  set. 

That  was  the  nucleus  of  what  he  said  at  that  time. 

I  later  heaid  anothei-  statement  by  Mr.  Lawson.  That  was  made  in 
the  summer  of  1941  when  some  younf»;  friends  of  mine  who  were  at- 
tending what  was  purported  to  be  a  school  for  actors  in  Hollywood — 
I  think  it  was  on  Labrea  Boulevard — asked  me  to  go  over  and  hear 
one  of  the  lectures,  instructions  on  acting. 

I  went  over  on  this  night  and  Mr.  Lawson  was  the  lecturer.  During 
the  course  of  the  evening  Mr.  Lawson  said  this — and  I  think  I  quote 
it  practically  verbatim — Mr.  Lawson  said  to  these  young  men  and 
women  who  were  training  for  a  career  of  acting,  he  said : 

It  is  your  duty  to  further  the  class  struggle  by  your  performance. 

He  said — 

If  you  are  nothing  more  than  an  extra  wearing  white  flannels  on  a  country  club 
veranda  do  your  best  to  appear  decadent,  do  your  best  to  appear  to  be  a  snob ; 
do  your  best  to  create  class  antagonism. 

He  said^^ 

If  you  are  an  extra  on  a  tenement  street  do  your  best  to  look  downtrodden,  do 
your  best  to  look  a  victim  of  existing  society. 

That  rather  amazed  me,  this  inner  circle  of  instruction  on  acting.  I 
could  picture  the  chaos  of  a  young  lady  who  perhaps  was  assigned  by 
Mr.  Maj^er  to  be  the  leading  woman  in  Lassie  Come  Home,  who  would 
go  out  and  perform  as  the  leading  woman  in  Waiting  for  Lefty.  But 
that  was  what  Mr.  Lawson  advised. 

Mr.  Stkipling.  Are  there  any  other  activities  or  statements  by  per- 
sons who  are  identified  with  the  Anti-Nazi  League  whicli  have  any 
relation  to  the  Communists'  activity  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  believe  that  is  the  most  specific  of  anything  I  have. 
If  there  is  any  specific  thing  you  would  care  to  ask  me  further  in 
regard  to  that? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  ever  assigned  to  work  with  Dakon 
Trumbo?  Dalton  Trumbo  was  identified  yesterday  as  a  writer  and 
as  a  Communist  by  Mr.  Sam  Wood,  director  and  producer.  Have  you 
ever  worked  with  him? 

Mr.  MorriTT.  Yes,  sir;  I  worked  witli  Mr.  Trumbo  at  l*aramount 
in  lO-t-l.  I  had  been  away  from  Hollywood  for  2  years.  I  was  very 
much  in  need  of  monej^  I  have  a  wife  and  two  children.  A  job  was 
very  precious  to  me.  I  sold  a  producer  at  Paramount  an  idea  for  a 
story  that  I  had  and  he  hired  me  and  to  my  joy  assigned  me  to  work 
with  Dalton  Trumbo.  Mr.  Trumbo  is  a  very  skilled  screen  writer. 
At  that  time  he  had  just  finished  the  script  of  Kitty  Foyle,  a  great 
success,  and  I  regarded  it  as  a  high  professional  privilege  to  Avork  with 
the  man.  But  I  soon  discovered  that  his  love  of  mankind  did  not 
extend  to  me.  Though  he  knew  my  predicament  he  never  came  to  the 
studio.  The  producer  had  gone  on  a  vacation.  Mr,  Triunbo,  he  told 
me,  was  drawing  $2,000  a  week  of  Paramount's  money  at  that  time. 
Over  a  period  of  10  weeks  he  came  in  for,  I  believe,  four  half-hour 
chats.     He  was  very  apologetic  and  said : 

I  am  rather  dogging  this  but  I  am  extremely  busy  at  this  time  because  I  am 
endeavoring  to  block  lend-lease. 


COMMUXISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  113 

He  said : 

President  Roosevelt  is  waniioiigeriug  in  assisting  Britain  and  France  in  a 
capitalistic  war. 

He  also  told  me  that  he  was  writing  a  great  many  lettei's  to  the 
Hearst  press  under  the  name  of  an  uncle,  I  believe,  whose  son  was  a 
member  of  the  crew  of  a  submarine  that  had  sailed  to  pass  its  tests. 
He  told  me  he  was  pamphleteering  very,  very  hard  in  this  cause  and 
used  the  death  of  this  sailor  as  an  example  of  the  perils  to  the  Ameri- 
can public  and  the  American  Navy  of  the  Koosevelt  warmongering 
policy. 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  moment.     Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  May  I  ask  you  w^hen  that  was  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  That  was  during  the  time  of  the  Berlin-Moscow  pact, 
when  the  Communist  Party  line  was  to  block  the  war  effort,  denounc- 
ing Great  Britain. 

It  was  asked  of  Mr.  Menjou  if  there  was  any  touchstone  by  which  you 
can  identify  a  Communist.  I  think  there  is  a  touchstone  by  which  you 
can  identify  a  Communist.  I  think  if  you  look  at  their  attitude  dur- 
ing the  period  of  the  Berlin-Moscow  pact  and  you  find  that  they  ap- 
proved of  everything  Nazi  Germany  did  at  that  time  and  then  reversed 
themselves  on  the  very  day  that  the  Germans  invaded  Russia  you  will 
find  that  that  person  is  a  Communist  and  that  he  is  following  the  Com- 
munist Party  line. 

Mr.  Trumbo  during  that  period  wrote  a  book  called  The  Remarkable 
Andrew.  That  book  was  bought  by  Paramount  and  was  being  pre- 
pared for  production  by  another  producing  unit  at  the  studio.  I 
heard,  though  I  do  not  know,  that  much  of  the  time  he  was  supposed 
to  be  working  with  me  he  was  over  in  that  unit  assisting  them,  though 
that  was  not  the  story  he  was  assigned  to.  The  Remarkable  Andrew 
said  that  we  should  not  help  the  powers  resisting  fiiscism  for  the 
curious  reason  that  the  ghost  of  Andrew  Jackson  would  not  approve  of 
it.  The  fact  that  Andrew  Jackson  had  fought  at  the  Battle  of  New 
Orleans  to  Mr.  Trumbo  was  a  conclusive  reason  at  that  time  that  we 
should  not  assist  Russia  in  resisting  potential  Nazi  invasion. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  continue  to  work  with  Mr.  Trumbo;  did 
you  complete  the  script  you  were  working  on  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  producer  returned.  I  did  not  mention  that  Mr. 
Trumbo  hadn't  been  present  because  I  felt  that  a  point  of  professional 
ethics  was  involved  at  that  time  not  to  snitch  on  my  collaborator.  So 
the  producer  left  town  again  and  the  same  conditions  continued  for,  I 
believe,  about  6  weeks. 

Do  you  wish  to  know  anything  of  Mr.  Trumbo's  public  record  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  Mr.  Trumbo  is  another  individual 
who  has  been  subpenaed  and  on  which  we  have  a  quite  voluminous  rec- 
ord on  which  he  will  be  questioned  next  week. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  have  a  quotation  from  an  article  written  by  Mr. 
Trumbo  that  I  believe  should  be  introduced  as  evidence.  With  the 
chairman's  permission  I  would  like  to  read  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  should  like  to  point  out  Mr.  INIoffitt 
testified  before  the  subconnnittee  in  Los  Angeles  in  May  at  some  length. 
He  is  referring  to  testimony  which  he  gave.  I  assume  that  is  per- 
missible? 

The  Chairman.  Yes;  that  is  agreeable. 


114  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  MorriTT,  I  am  referring  to  this  because  I  later  wish  to  offer 
evidence  to  the  effect  that  I  think  this  committee  is  not  taking  steps 
to  estabhsh  censorship.  I  think  this  committee  is  taking  steps  to 
end  the  most  dangerous  censorship  that  has  ever  occurred  in  the  history 
of  the  motion-picture  industry  and  in  the  history  of  American  thought. 
I  will  expand  that  if  I  am  permitted  to  read  this  as  an  introduction. 

Mr.  Striplin(j.  Mr.  Chairman,  is  that  agreeable  Avith  the  committee? 

The  Chairman.  Yes;  perfectly  agreeable. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  On  May  5,  1946,  Mr.  Trumbo,  writing  on  the  topic 
Getting  Hollywood  Into  Focus,  in  the  Worker,  said : 

We  have  producefl  a  few  fine  films  in  Hollywood,  a  great  many  of  which  were 
vulgar  and  opportunistic  and  a  few  downright  vicious.  If  you  tell  me  Hollywood,, 
in  contrast  with  the  novel  and  the  theater,  has  produced  nothing  so  provocative 
or  so  progressive  as  Freedom  Road  or  Deep  Are  the  Roots,  I  will  grant  you  the 
point,  but  I  may  also  add  that  neither  has  Hollywood  produced  anything  so  untrue 
or  so  reactionary  as  The  Yogi  and  the  Commissar,  Out  of  the  Night,  Report  on  the 
Russians,  There  Shall  Be  No  Night,  or  Adventures  of  a  Young  Man.  Nor  does 
Hollywood's  forthcoming  schedule  include  such  tempting  items  as  James  T.  Far- 
rell's  Bernard  Clare,  Victor  A.  Kravchenko's  I  Chose  Fi'eedom,  or  the  so-called 
biography  of  Stalin  by  Lenin  Trotsky. 

Mr.  Trumbo  was  pointing  out  and  approving  the  fact  that  the  Com- 
munists had  established  an  almost  complete  embargo  in  the  world  of 
thought,  certainl}^  in  the  world  of  fiction,  against  any  criticism  of 
communism  or  Communist  Russia.  That  censorship  involves  the  in- 
filtration of  Communists  into  the  literary  agencies. 

I  presume  you  gentlemen  understand  that  most  literary  property 
and  most  artistic  assignments  are  handled  tlirough  professional  agents 
who  get  10  percent  of  what  you  make  or  the  sale  price.  These  agencies 
are  very,  very  heavily  infiltrated,  though  not  dominated,  I  don't  be- 
lieve, by  Communists.  The  publishing  houses  in  their  reading  depart- 
ments are  very,  very  heavily  infiltrated  with  Communists.  Broadway 
is  practically  dominated  by  Communists.  Hollywood  has  a  heavy  in- 
filtration of  '  ommunists,  and  it  is  the  only  field  of  American  fiction 
wliere,  I  think,  they  have  been  strongly  resisted.  I  think  the  producers 
have  a  fine  and  creditable  record  of  keeping  Communist  propaganda 
out  of  films.  I  don't  thing  it  is  100  percent.  I  think  they  slip  some- 
times. But  I  think  the  effort  stacks  up  very  fine  in  comparison  with  the 
record  of  Broadway. 

F'orty-four  out  of  one  hundred  of  the  best  plays  produced  on  Broad- 
way from  1936  through  the  season  of  1946  have  contained  material  to 
further  the  Communist  Party  line.  Nothing  like  that  has  occurred 
in  Hollywood;  233  other  plays  produced  during  the  game  period 
favored  the  party  line. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  this  is  all  your  opinion  as  a  critic ;  is 
that  right? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Yes,  sir;  indeed  it  is.  It  is  eompilated  here.  It  would 
take  too  long  to  read  the  details  but  I  would  be  glad  to  submit  it. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  read  all  these  scripts? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  have  read  the  condensed  version  of  the  scripts  in 
the  Burns  Mantell  Collection  of  Ten  Best  Plays,  a  standard  work.  I 
have  read  many  of  the  actual  scripts,  too.  I  can't  pretend  to  have 
read  every  one  of  these. 

The  Chairman.  More  order,  please. 

Mr.  MorriTT.  During  the  same  period  I  know  of  only  two  plays  pro- 
duced on  Broadway  that  in  .any  way  challenged  the  Communist  Party" 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  115 

line,  one  The  Unconquered,  an  a(lai)tation  of  a  novel  by  Miss  Aj^n 
Rand,  which  yon  heard  yesterday,  that  lasted  a  week,  and  the  other 
was  There  Shall  Be  No  Night,  by  Robert  Sherwood.  The  survey  of 
the  number  of  novels  that  contained  Communist  line  during  that  pe- 
riod is  not  complete  but  the  proportions  are  the  same  or  worse  than 
those  of  Broadway. 

Mv.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  do  you  have  a  statement  there  by  William 
Z.  Foster  wliich  apj^eared  in  New  Masses  of  April  2?>,  194G,  relative  to 
infilrration  of  Communists  in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Yes.  sir;  I  do. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Would  you  read  that  to  the  connnittee? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  would  like  to  point  out  that  the  Communists  have 
practically  rendered  the  English  language  meaningless  in  that  they 
very  often  use  a  term  to  indicate  its  opposite,  such  as  the  term  "de- 
mocracy" whicli  Mr.  Foster  uses.  So  before  I  read  Mr.  Foster's  state- 
ment I  would  like  to  read  one  by  Joseph  Stalin  which  rather  orients 
wliat  a  Communist  means  by  "democracy."  The  statement  that  I  am 
about  to  read  is  taken  from  The  Foundations  of  Leninism,  a  series  of 
lectures  delievered  in  Moscow  by  Joseph  Stalin. 

In  this  he  says : 

The  dictatorship  of  the  proletariat  is  a  revolutionary  power  based  on  the  use 
of  force  against  the  bourgeois. 

He  goes  on  to  say  : 

Briefly,  the  dictatorship  of  the  proletariat  is  a  rule  unrestricted  by  law  and 
based  on  forces  of  the  proletariat  over  the  bourgeoise,  a  ruling  enjoying  the 
sympathy  and  support  of  the  laboring  and  exploited  masses. 

Then  he  proceeds  to  say : 

My  first  conclusion  is  that  the  dictatorship  of  the  proletariat  cannot  be  com- 
plete democracy,  democracy  for  all,  for  the  rich  as  well  as  the  poor.  The 
dictatorship  of  the  proletariat  must  be  a  state  that  is  democracy  in  a  new  way 
for  the  proletariat  and  propertyless  in  general  and  a  dictatorship  in  a  new  way 
against  the  bourgeois. 

He  goes  on,  on  page  58,  to  say : 

In  other  words,  the  law  of  violent  revolution,  the  law  of  smashing  the  bour- 
geoise machine  as  a  preliminary  condition  for  such  a  revolution,  is  an  inevitable 
law  of  the  revolutionary  movement  in  the  imperialistic  countries  of  the  world. 

With  that  definition  of  democracy  in  mind,  I  will  now  read  what 
Mr,  William  Z.  Foster  had  to  say  in  the  New  Masses  on  April  23, 1946, 
speaking  on  elements  of  the  peoples'  cultural  polic3^    He  says : 

Progressive  artists  should  also  strive  to  make  their  constructive  influences 
felt  within  the  scope  of  the  great  cultural  organizations  of  the  bourgeoise. 
Motion  pictures,  radio,  literature,  theater,  and  so  forth.  Artists  must  eat  like 
other  people.  Many  artists,  tlierefore,  are  necessarily  constrained  to  work  under 
direct  capitalist  controls  on  employers'  pay  rolls  pretty  much  as  workers.  It  is 
also  iK)litically  and  artistically  necessary  to  penetrate  the  commercial  organiza- 
tions as  it  would  be  for  the  worker.  But  this  does  not  mean  that  artists  so 
employed  should  become  servile  tools  or  prostitutes  of  these  exploiters  as,  unfor- 
tunately, many  do.  On  the  contrary,  progressive  artists  have  a  double  responsi- 
bility. Not  only  should  they  actively  cultivate  every  form  of  independent 
artistic  activity,  but  they  should  also  fight  as  workers  do  in  capitalist  industry 
to  make  their  democratic  influences  felt  in  the  commercialized  cultural  organi- 
zations. The  fact  that  capitalists  through  their  commercialized  art  forms  have 
to  appeal  for  profits  to  the  broadest  ranks  of  the  people  makes  these  forms 
especially  vulnerable  to  ideological  and  organizational  pressure  as  much  experi- 
ence demonstrates. 


116  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Foster  says  not  only  that  they  should  infiltrate  their  ideas,  but 
that  they  have  siiccessfnlly  infiltrated  their  ideas. 

Mr,  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  based  upon  your  observations  and  in- 
formation, have  the  Communists  infiltrated  into  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Have  they  infiltrated  into  Hollywood^ 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  I  refer  to  Hollywood,  1  am  speaking  of  the 
motion-picture  industry. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir;  I  should  say  they  have.  I  would  like  to 
bring  to  your  attention  the  fact  that  every  studio  employs  what  are 
known  as  story  analysts.  These  people  read  all  stories  submitted  to 
the  studio,  allfree-lance  writing,  all  such  scripts.  This  work  is  done 
by  what  is  known  as  the  Screen  Analysts  Guild. 

Mr.  Stripling.  INIr.  Moffitt,  before  you  do  that,  for  the  benefit  of 
the  committee,  would  you  give,  briefly,  the  mechanics  of  a  story  from 
the  time  it  is  written  until  it  is  produced  as  a  picture? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  There  are  several  routines  that  may  be  followed.  A 
studio  may  ask  a  writer  already  employed  by  them  to  write  an  original 
story  for  a  specific  need — if  a  star  needs  a  vehicle,  for  example. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Take,  for  example,  a  book,  a  best-selling  novel.  We 
will  assume  that  a  studio  has  bought  the  novel  to  make  a  picture.  Will 
you  tell  the  committee  the  various  departments  that  that  book  would 
go  through  before  it  is  produced  as  a  film? 

I\Ir.  Moffitt.  In  a  large  studio  that  literary  property  would  be  as- 
signed to  an  associate  producer.  That  associate  producer  would  call 
upon,  after  reading  it  and  conferring  with  the  head  of  the  studio  as  to 
the  general  approaches  of  the  dramatization,  he  would  then  call  the 
scenario  editor,  the  man  in  charge  of  hiring  writers. 

That  editor  would  submit  to  him  a  list  of  names  of  available  writ- 
ers that  he  thought  suitable  for  this  assignment.  The  list  would  in- 
clude both  writers  under  contract  and  writers  off  contract. 

A  great  discretion  is  in  that  man's  hands.  As  Mr.  Sam  Wood 
pointed  out  yesterday,  it  is  very  easy  for  him  to  load  the  list  with  Com- 
munists, if  he  is  a  Communist.  In  the  case  of  a  man  under  contract 
who  never  gets  on  one  of  those  lists  he  soon  has  been  employed  for  a 
number  of  months,  he  has  received  the  studio's  money,  and  because  of 
the  manipulations  of  a  scenario  editor  in  keeping  his  name  oif  the  lists 
of  available  writers,  he  has  a  record  of  nonemployment.  Then  the 
scenario  editor,  if  so  disposed,  can  go  to  the  head  of  the  studio  and 
say,  "None  of  our  associate  producers  want  to  work  with  this  man; 
therefore  I  think  it  advisable  not  to  renew  his  contract." 

Mr.  Wood,  I  think,  explained  that  yesterday. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes ;  he  brought  that  out. 

Now,  the  next  step. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Well,  after  the  writer  or  writers  are  assigned,  they 
very  often  write  a  "treatment,"  which  is  an  outline,  a  break-down  of 
the  form  the  dramatization  should  take.  They  bring  that  back  to 
the  associate  producer,  and  if  he  approves  it  he  either  keeps  them  work- 
ing to  develop  a  script  or  he  hires  other  writers  to  develop  a  script. 
There  are  very  often  four  or  five  scripts  on  one  story  as  the  script  is 
refined  and  polished. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  the  next  step  after  the  script?  Then  it  is 
turned  over  to  the  producer  or  to  the  director  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  After  the  script  is  written  in  some  studios  it  goes  to  a 
story  board  who  criticizes  it  from  various  angles,  from  its  contents, 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  H? 

from  the  ability  of  tlie  studio  to  cast  the  script  as  written,  for  the  way 
it  squares  with  public  o})inioii  as  the  studio  iiiteri)rets  it  a  that  time; 
and  the  story  board  can  ask  for  further  revisions  or  can  approve  it,  in 
which  case  a  production  date  is  set  and  it  would  2;o  into  production. 
At  this  stage  of  the  game  a  director  is  usually  assigned  to  it  and  since 
the  director  is  responsible  for  getting  the  values  of  the  story  into  film 
he  is  allowed  considerable  advisory  power.  That  will  fluctuate  with 
the  reputation  and  skill  of  the  director  and  the  importance  of  the  pro- 
ducer. As  a  rule  the  director  is  listened  to.  It  is  profitable  to  listen  to 
the  director  and  to  make  any  reasonable  changes  that  he  desires.  It 
is  best  to  have  him  happy,  in  other  words.  < 

The  CiiAiRMA]s[.  The  Chair  would  like  to  announce  that  this  after- 
noon we  will  have  Mr.  Moffitt  continuing  his  testimony  and  one  or 
two  other  witnesses,  and  that  tomorrow^  we  will  have  the  following 
witnesses,  all  writers :  Mr.  Rupert  Hughes.  Mr.  Morrie  Ryskincl,  Albert 
Carlson,  Howard  Rushmore,  Richard  Macaulay,  Fred  Niblo,  Jr.,  and 
Ayn  Rand. 

We  will  recess  now  until  2  o'clock  this  afternoon. 

(Whereupon,  at  12 :  25  p.  m.,  a  recess  was  taken  until  2  p.  m.  of  the 
same  day.) 

AFTERIsrOON  SESSION 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  wall  come  to  order. 

The  Chair  would  like  to  announce  that  if  transportation  arrange- 
ments can  be  completed  today,  or  have  been  completed  this  morning, 
one  of  the  witnesses  tomorrow  morning  will  be  Mr.  Robert  Taylor, 
the  actor. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Will  you  point  out  that  the  first  witness  will  be 
Mr.  Jim  McGuinness? 

The  Ciiair:man'.  And  the  first  witness  tomorrow  morning  will  be 
Mr.  Jim  McGuinness.  The  second  witness  will  probably  be  Mr.  Robert 
Taylor. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  ask  permission  to  insert  into  the 
record  certain  excerpts  from  the  testimony  of  Adolph  Menjou  which 
was  taken  in  executive  session  in  Hollywood  in  May.  Those  excerpts 
will  only  serve  to  elaborate  on  certain  points  he  made  here  this  morning, 
which  would  clarify  the  record. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered. 

(The  excerpts  referred  to  above  are  included  in  Executive  Hearings 
and  will  not  be  printed  in  this  volume.) 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt. 

TESTIMONY  OF  JOHN  CHARLES  MOFFITT— Eesumed 

Mr.  Stripling.  Before  we  adjourned  for  the  noon  hour,  you  men- 
tioned Story  Analyst  Guild.  Would  you  tell  the  committee  just  how 
this  Story  Analyst  Guild  functions? 

Mr.  MoFFi'i-i\  Yes,  sir;  I  would  be  delighted  to,  but  before  I  do  that 
I  would  like  to  make  a  correction  on  my  morning's  testimony.  Due  to 
a  too  hasty  glance  at  my  chronology  here,  I  think  I  confused  some 
members  of  the  press  concerning  dates.     The  time  of  my  alleged  col- 


118  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

laboration  with  Mr.  Trimibo  at  Paramount  was  in  the  spring  of  1941, 
prior  to  the  German  invasion  of  Russia,  the  i)eriod  of  the  Berlin- 
Moscow  pact.  I  believe  I  failed  to  make  the  date  clear.  The  time 
of  my  menibershi])  in  the  Anti-Nazi  Leajjue  and  mj?^  conversations  with 
John  Howard  Lawson  is,  to  the  best  of  my  recollection,  in  1937. 

Now,  as  to  the  Story  Analyst  Guild,  that  is  a  union  of  workers  whose 
function  it  is  to  read  all  material  submitted  to  various  motion-picture 
studios  and  to  wa-ite  synopses  of  the  stories  submitted.  These  synopses 
are  placed  on  lile  and  they  are  available  to  producers  and  associate 
producers  in  makino-  decisions  of  what  material  they  wnsh  to  screen. 

As  I  understand  it,  under  the  terms  of  the  contract — in  the  first 
place,  I  understand  that  the  Story  Analyst  Guild  has  been  named  the 
bargaining  agency  for  that  phase  of  the  motion-picture  business.  I 
also  understand  that  under  the  contract  which  has  been  approved  for 
that  guild  and  the  producers,  the  producers  are  not  permitted  to  fire 
on  the  basis  of  political  activity.  It  has  been  the  experience  of  many 
writers  who  are  not  Communists  that  the  members  of  this  guild  pre- 
pare very  bad  synopses  on  all  material  submitted  by  people  who  are 
not  Communists  and  they  damn  thoroughly  in  their  reports  any  stories 
that  are  not  friendly  to  the  Communist  line.  The  president  of  the 
Story  Analyst  Guild  and  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party,  as  I 
understand  it,  is  Frances  Mellington.  She  is  head  of  the  story  analyst 
or  reading  department  at  Paramount.  She  is  assisted  by  a  woman 
who  has  repeatedly  voiced  very  strong  Communist  sympathy.  Her 
name  is  Simon  Maise — M-a-i-s-e. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  do  you  spell  her  first  name,  Mr.  Moflitt  ? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  French  name — S-i-m-o-n. 

Also  in  her  department  is  Bernie  Gordon,  a  man  whose  actions  and 
talk  follows  the  party  line. 

In  one  unit  at  AVarner  Bros,  he  is  Dave  Robison — R-o-b-i-s-o-n.  I 
think  he  is  in  what  is  known  as  the  Spurling  unit  at  Warner  Bros., 
I  believe.  His  wife,  Naomi  Robison,  was  at  one  time,  I  understand, 
Communist  treasurer  for  Hollywood. 

Another  reader  at  Warners,  who  I  understand  is  a  Communist  mem- 
ber, is  Thomas  Chapman — C-h-a-p-m-a-n — but  I  believe  he  has  been 
let  out  since  Mr.  Warner  began  to  rid  his  studio  of  Communists. 

The  story  man  at  Enterprise  Studio  is,  I  believe,  a  Communist,  and 
his  name  is  Michael  Uris — U-r-i-s. 

I  understand  that  among  the  analysts  at  Metrol-Goldwyn-Mayer 
who  are  Communists  and  follow  the  party  line,  are  Jesse  Burns  and 
Lona  Packer — P-a-c-k-e-r.  According  to  my  information.  Miss 
Packer  was  discharged  some  months  ago  and  has  not  returned  to  that 
studio. 

Does  that  answer  your  question? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes, 

Now,  Mr.  Moffitt,  as  a  writer  in  Hollywood  and  as  a  critic,  could 
you  name  for  the  committee  any  writers  that  you  consider  to  be  Com- 
munists who  are  employed  in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Katz.  Mr.  Thomas,  I  represent  a  number  of  persons  who  have 
been  subpenaed 

The  Chairman.  I  am  very  sorry.  You  are  out  of  order.  We  have 
a  witness  on  the  stand,  so  please  go  back  and  sit  down. 

Mr.  Katz.  You  have  said-; 

The  Chairman.  I  said  you  are  out  of  order. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  119 

Mr.  Katz.  You  have  said  you  want  a  fair  hearing.  Cross-examina- 
tion is  necessary. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  take  this  man  out  of  the  room,  please? 
Put  him  out  of  the  room. 

(to  ahead  with  the  testimony. 

We  nmst  have  order  in  these  chambers,  or  we  will  be  inclined  to  clear 
the  room  of  the  audience. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  Mr.  MofRtt,  the  question  was :  You  name  the 
writers  in  Holl3'wood  according  to  your  information  who  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Communist  Party. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  am  not  a  Government  agency  and  I  do  not  have  the 
investigative  powers  that  one  would  have.  I  have  had  contact  with 
men  who  are  former  members  of  the  FBI  on  the  Hollywood  beat  and 
I  know  what  they  have  told  me.  I  also  have  followed  the  careers  of 
a  great  number  of  these  people  and  I  know^  that  those  that  I  mention 
have  followed  the  party  line.  I  cannot  tell  you  under  oath  that  I 
have  the  party  cards  or  number  of  these  people.  The  men  I  am  about 
to  name  were  asked  by  the  Hollywood  Reporter:  "Are  you  a  Com- 
munist and  is  your  party  number  as  follows?" 

Mr.  Stripling.  Just  a  moment,  Mr.  MofHtt.  Would  you  identify 
the  Hollywood  Reporter? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  Hollywood  Reporter  is  a  trade  paper,  a  daily 
published  in  Hollywood.  I  think  it  shares  with  Daily  Variety  the 
distinction  of  being  one  of  the  two  most  important  trade  papers  deal- 
ing with  motion-picture  matters. 

Mr.  Stripling,  (to  right  ahead. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  Hollywood  Reporter,  according  to  my  informa- 
tion, asked  Mr.  Albert  Maltz — M-a-1-t-z^ — a  very  able  screen  writer,  if 
be  was  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  and  if  his  number  was  No. 
48062.  To  the  best  of  my  knowledge  Mr.  Maltz  nevpr  returned  an 
answer.  Mr.  Maltz  is  rather  significant  because  Mr.  Maltz  is  signifi- 
cant of  the  discipline  which  the  Communist  Party  impo:  es  upon  those 
of  its  artists  which  it  infiltrates  into  the  studios. 

Some  months  ago  j\Ir.  Maltz  wrote  an  article  that  attracted  wide 
attention,  which  was  published  in  the  Communist  press.     In  that 

Mr.  Stripling.  Pardon  me.  You  refer  to  the  Communist  press. 
Do  you  mean  (he  New  Masses? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  think  this  one  was  published  in  the  Daily  Worker. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Official  organ  of  the  Communist  Party? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Stripling.  All  right. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  In  that  article  Mr.  Maltz  made  a  plea  for  a  certain 
degree  of  intellectual  freedom  amon.i  radical  writers.  Mr.  Maltz  said 
that  while  Farrell.  the  author  of  Studs  Lonnigan.  was  not  a  Com- 
munist Party  member  and  liad  resisted  Communist  discipline,  that  at 
the  same  time  he  thought  he  was  a  very  able  writer  and  that  on  the 
whole  he  was  an  able  exponent  of  the  leftist  or  extreme  liberal  or,  as 
I  would  say.  close  to  Communist  thinking. 

He  named,  I  believe,  John  Dos  Pasos — D-o-s  P-a-s-o-s — in  the  same 
article.  He  cited  these  men  as  exam])les  of  what  he  thought  were 
laudable  liberal  writers  who  should  not  be  condemned  through  their 
failure  to  be  members  of  the  Communist  Party. 

After  the  publication  of  that  article  all  hell  broke  loose.  The  Com- 
miunist  papers  were  filled  with  articles  against  Maltz.     He  was  de- 


120  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

iiounced  as  a  cleviator  from  tlie  party  line.  He  was  called  a  corrupter 
of  party  discipline.  The  best  writers,  the  best  literary  hatchetmen  in 
the  party,  were  called  upon  to  work  him  over.  They  worked  him  over 
so  thoroughly  that  he  wrote  an  article,  subsequently  wrote  an  article, 
for  the  Daily  Worker,  in  w^hich  he  completely  denied.  He  beat  his 
breast.  He  said  he  was  wrong  to  have  voiced  the  idea  that  an  artist 
should  have  any  independence  of  thought.     He  begged 

Mr.  Stripmxo.  Pardon  me.  AVould  you  say  that  Avould  be  a  classic 
example  of  the  discipline  which  the  party  exacts  from  its  members? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  most  certainly  would.  It  is  the  type  of  discipline 
that  we  are  all  too  familiar  with  in  Russia.  But  here  it  occurred 
on  American  soil,  to  a  man,  a  very  sensitive  man,  and  a  very  able 
writer  and  one  who,  as  far  as  I  know,  follows  the  party  line  as  closely 
as  he  can.  But  he  did  have  a  liberal  deviation  in  his  thinking.  He 
was  condemned  for  it.  When  he  published  his  retraction,  he  not  only 
retracted  his  former  principles,  but  he  attacked  those  who  had  lauded 
him  for  his  stand.  That  is  a  classic  example  to  my  mind  of  the  dis- 
cipline that  the  Communist  Party  applies  to  its  artists. 

The  next  name  that  has  been  brought  up  is  that  of  Robert  Rossen — 
R-o-s-s-e-n.    I  am  not  sure  that  a  number  was  asked  on  him. 

The  next  was  Dalton  Trumbo,  to  whom  I  referred  this  morning. 
He  was  asked  if  he  w'as  a  Communist  and  if  his  party  number  was 
No,  36805.    As  far  as  I  know,  he  made  no  reply. 

The  next  name  was  that  of  Gordon  Kahn — K-a-h-n.  He  was  asked 
if  he  was  a  party  member  and  if  his  number  was  No.  48294.  So  far 
as  I  know,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  many  months  have  elapsed,  he 
has  never  made  a  reply  to  that  inquiry. 

The  next  name  is  that  of  Ring  Lardner,  Jr.  He  was  asked  if  he 
was  a  Communist  and  if  his  party  number  was  No.  25109,  The  same 
was  true  in  his  case. 

The  next  vras  Richard  J.  Collins — C-o-l-l-i-n-s.  He  was  asked  if 
he  was  a  Communist  and  if  his  number  was  No,  11148,  with  the  same 
results. 

The  next  was  Harold  Buchman — B-u-c-h-m-a-n.  He  was  asked 
if  he  was  a  Communist  and  if  his  number  was  No.  46802,  As  far  as 
I  know,  he  never  denied  it. 

The  next  was  Lester  Cole — C-o-l-e,  He  was  asked  if  he  was  a  Com- 
munist and  if  his  number  was  No.  46805.  So  far  as  I  know,  he  never 
denied  that. 

The  next  was  Henry  Meyers,  He  was  aked  if  he  was  a  Communist 
and  if  his  number  was  No.  25065.  As  far  as  I  know,  he  never  denied 
that. 

The  next  was  William  Pomerance,  I  don't  believe  a  number  was 
asked  of  him. 

The  next  was  Morris  Harry  Rapf — R-a-p-f.  I  believe  that  should 
be  "Junior."  He  was  asked  if  he  was  a  Communist  and  if  his  number 
was  No.  25113.    As  far  as  I  know,  he  never  denied  that. 

The  next  was  Harold  J.  Salemson — S-a-1-e-m-s-o-n.  No  number 
was  asked  of  him. 

Nor  was  ft  of  John  Wexley — ^W-e-x-1-e-y, 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  are  all  of  these  writers  whom  you  have 
named  rather  prominent  writers?  ^ 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  think  so,  with  the  exception  of  Salemson.  I  think 
Salemson  was  more  in  the  position  of  an  organizer,  and  he  held  a 


COMMUNISM  IJST   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  121 

salaried  position  with  the  Screen  Writers  Guild.  He  also  had  been 
editor  of  an  Army  newspaper,  at  one  of  the  cantonments  during  the 
war. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  writers  that  are  in  the  category  of  these  men, 
api)roximatelv  what  would  their  salaries  be?  AVonld  it  be  in  excess 
of  $500  a  week? 

Ml'.  MoFFiTT.  I  would  think  so,  in  each  case,  though  I  have  no  knowl- 
edge of  their  salary.  I  think  the  Treasury  Department  should  supply 
that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  would  you  give  the  committee  the  vari- 
ous techniques  which  writers  employ  to  inject  Communist  scenes  or 
lines  into  motion  pictures? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Well,  the  technique  usually  followed  is  that  laid  down 
by  Mr.  Lawson.  It  is  the  "drop  of  water"  technique  the  5  minutes  of 
party-line  technique,  the  gradual  conditioning  of  iVmerican  thought 
along  the  leftist  line.  During  the  war  the  party  line  was  to  identify 
the  class  war  with  the  war  against  Nazi  Germany.  The  technique  in 
that  case  was  to  show  every  quisling  to-  be  a  man  with  property  or  a 
man  of  the  managerial  class.  There  were  a  number  of  instances  in 
Avhich  that  was  done. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  give  the  committee  those  instances? 

Mr.  Morrri'T.  Yes,  sir,  I  could,  but  I  beg  you  not  to  ask  me  to.  I 
think  that  the  most  infamous  aspect  of  Lawson's  technique  is  that  of 
involving  innocent  people.  I  think  that  many  a  time  an  actor  plays 
that  5  minutes  without  knowing  the  significance  of  what  he  is  doing. 
I  think  on  many  occasions — I  think  on  practically  every  occasion  that 
I  know  of  the  producer,  both  the  associate  producer  and  the  studio 
heads,  was  in  complete  ignorance  of  what  was  done.  I  think  very 
often  the  director  may  not  know. 

Now,  this  is  done  occasionally  in  pictures  involving  budgets  of  one 
and  a  half  or  two  million  dollars.  That  gets  into  the  picture,  and  if 
1  name  that  picture  I  will  be  working  a  hardship  on  innocent  people. 
I  would  very  much  prefer,  with  your  permission,  to  name  those  pictures 
in  executive  session. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have,  however,  as  a  critic  for  Esquire  magazine, 
reviewed  pictures  in  which  you  pointed  out  various  scenes  and  lines 
which  to  your  mind  were  a  reflection  of  the  party  line  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  No,  sir ;  I  have  not  done  that  in  Esquire  magazine.  I 
have  named  some  pictures  which  I  thought  contained  material  that 
was  derogatory  to  the  ministry,  to  the  prieshood,  giving  an  unfair 
picture  of  American  business  and  of  the  free-enterprise  system,  but 
I  have  not  specifically  named  them  in  Esquire  as  Communist. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  it  would  be  possible  to  pin  the  direct 
responsibility  for  these  techniques  down  to  certain  individuals,  by 
t  liorough  investigation  ? 

Mr.  AIoFFiTT.  By  thorough  investigation  by  you  or  by  the  FBI,  I 
believe  it  could  be  done,  but  as  an  individual,  acting  with  a  reporter's 
experience. and  knowing  the  numeious  people  that  are  involved  in  the 
making  of  a  picture,  I  do  not  feel  free  to  assume  the  responsibility  of 
pointing  the  finger  at  these  various  pictures  and  saying  who  was 
responsible  for  a  given  5  minutes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  But  is  there  any  question  in  your  mind,  as  a  critic 
and  reviewer,  that  the  5  minutes  was  in  the  picture? 


122  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  5  minutes  has  been  in  a  number  of  pictures.  As 
I  told  you  this  morning,  I  think  that  tlie  motion-picture  industry  has 
done  a  remarkably  fine  job  on  keepinjj  it  out.  I  think  that  their  record 
is  mucli  better  than  that  of  the  publishing  houses  or  that  of  Broadway. 
I  don't  agree  with  Mr.  Mayer  that  it  has  been  100-percent  successful^ 
but  I  think  it  lias  been  in  the  neighborhood  of  98-percent  successful. 
I  think  that,  if  I  name  these  pictures  hei-e,  it  will  smear  them  to  the 
public  and  it  will  work  a  hardship  on  many,  many  people  of  sound 
American  principles.  I  am  very  willing  to  name  them  in  executive 
session. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  perfectly  agreeable.  I  think  you  are 
absolutely  correct. 

Mr.  STRirmNG.  Mr.  Moffitt.  tlien,  without  naming  any  specific  pic- 
ture, could  you  give  us  some  example  of  the  techniques  that  have  been 
employed  ? 

Mr,  MoFFrrT.  Well,  I  gave  you  one,  of  the  confusion  of  the  class 
war  w^ith  the  war  against  Xazi  Germany.  There  is  also  the  campaigii 
against  religion,  w^here  the  minister  will  be  shown  as  the  tool  of  his 
richest  parishioner,  where  it  will  be  inferred  that  the  policies  of  an 
entire  diocese,  let  us  say,  of  the  Episcopal  Church,  are  dictated  by  a 
rich,  reactionary  woman,  where  it  will  be  inferred  that  an  honest 
clergyman  is  interfered  wdth  in  his  duties  to  the  poorer  members  of 
his  diocese  by  rich  and  reactionary  women. 

Tliere  has  also  been  the  party  line  of  making  the  returned  soldier 
fear  that  the  world  is  against  liim,  that  the  American  principle  is 
against  him,  that  business  is  against  him,  that  the  free-enterprise 
system  is  against  him.  You  will  see  picture  after  picture  in  which 
the  banker  is  presented  as  an  unsympathetic  man.  who  hates  to  give 
a  GI  a  loan.  In  connection  with  that  I  haA'e  a  note  here,  based  on 
my  own  inquiry,  that  I  would  like  to  read. 

A  number  of  pictures  have  slioAvn  the  banker  as  the  villain,  pictures 
dealing  with  returned  veterans.  I  saw  this  on  the  screen  so  frequently 
that  I  decided  that,  if  I  was  to  act  in  any  sense  as  a  conscientious 
reviewer,  I  should  make  some  inquiries  about  the  true  conditions.  1 
contacted  the  Bank  of  America  in  Los  Angeles  and  also  contacted  the 
editors  of  Veterans  magazine.  I  made  this  inquiry  last  May.  At  the 
time  of  my  investigation  I  found  that  the  Bank  of  America  in  Cali- 
fornia aloiie  has  made  36,000  real-estate  loans  to  veterans,  for  a  total 
amount  of  $280,000,000.  These  figures  do  not  include  business  loans. 
Of  those  loans,  according  to  the  Bank  of  America,  there  were  only  two 
at  that  time  threatened  with  foreclosure.  At  tliat  time  veterans'  loans 
were  being  processed  at  the  rate  of  80  to  DO  a  day  by  this  one  bank. 
I  think  that  is  an  aspect  of  the  banking  incUistry"s  attitude  toward 
returning  veterans  that  refutes  a  great  deal  that  has  been  infiltrated 
into  scripts  about  their  hard-hearted  attitude  toward  veterans. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  term  "heavy"  has  been  used  here  as  a  designation 
of  the  part  in  which  the  person  is  a  villain.  Would  you  say  that  the 
banker  has  been  often  cast  as  a  heavy,  or  consistently  cast  as  a  heavy, 
in  pictures  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir.  I  think  that  due  to  Communist  pressure  he 
is  overfrequently  cast  as  a  heavy.  By  that  I  do  not  mean  that  I  think 
no  picture  should  ever  show  a  villainous  banker.  In  fact,  I  would 
right  now  like  to  defend  one  picture  that  I  think  has  been  unjustly 
accused  of  communism.     That  picture  is  Frank  Capra's  It's  a  AVonder- 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  123 

fill  Life.  The  banker  in  that  picture,  played  by  Lionel  Barry  more, 
Avas  most  certainly  what  we  call  a  "clog  heavy"  in  the  business.  He 
was  a  snarling,  unsympathetic  character.  But  the  hero  and  his  father, 
played  by  James  Stewart  and  Samuel  S.  Hines,  were  businessmen,  in 
the  building  and  loan  business,  and  they  were  shown  as  using  money 
as  a  benevolent  influence. 

The  Chairman,  I  must  insist  that  we  have  order.  People  in  the 
audience  are  the  guests  of  this  committee.  Those  people  include  the 
witnesses  who  are  going  to  be  called  before  the  committee.  We  just 
must  have  order  all  the  time.     Go  ahead. 

Mr.  Crumm.  All  we  ask,  Mr.  Chairman 

The  Chairman.  I  said  we  want  order. 

]Mr.  Crumm.  All  we  ask  is  the  same  right  accorded  to  Howard 
Hughes, 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute.  Come  away.  Everybody  sit  down. 
Will  all  you  people  who  are  standing  up  please  sit  down?  And  the 
photographers. 

]\Ir.  MuFFiTT.  All  right. 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Well,  to  summarize,  I  think  that  Mr.  Capra's  picture, 
though  it  had  a  banker  as  villain,  could  not  be  properly  called  a  Com- 
munist picture.  It  showed  that  the  power  of  money  can  be  used 
oppressively  and  it  can  be  used  benevolently.  I  think  that  picture  was 
unjustly  accused  of  communism. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  there  also  beeii  cases  in  which  the  legislative 
branch  of  our  Government  has  been  put  up  for  ridicule  or  for  scorn 
through  certain  scenes  or  themes  in  pictures? 

]Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Yes,  sir ;  there  have.  There  has  been  more  of  that  on 
Broadway,  but  there  has  been  some  of  it  in  Hollywood. 

I  would  like  to  repeat  the  opinion  of  previous  witnesses  that  I  think 
the  studios  are  showing  much  more  vigilance  in  suppressing  these  party 
lines  and  that  in  recent  months  there  has  been  very,  very  little  of  that, 

^Ir.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  of  any  particular  story  or  picture  which 
is  in  production  which  has  as  its  theme  the  belittling  of  the  Congress 
of  the  United  States? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  know  of  some  in  production  where  that  could  be 
possible,  but  since  I  have  not  read  the  scripts — their  adaptations  of 
Inlays — I  would  not  like  to  speak  on  that  because 

Mr.  Stripling.  There  has  been  some  mention  of  a  play  by  Emmett 
Lavery. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  Yes,  sir.  Emmett  Lavery  is  the  president  of  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild.  His  opinions  upon  the  Congress  I  think  are 
set  forth  in  a  play  which  is  now  the  subject  of  a  $:2,000,000  libel  suit. 
The  play  is  called  The  Gentleman  From  Athens,  In  the  character 
of  Cousin  Vincent,  the  banker,  Mr.  Lavery  follows  the  line  of  making 
him  a  very  unsympathetic  character,  just  because  he  is  a  banker.  We 
are  never  told  that  he  has  done  any  specific  thing  that  is  villainous, 
but  in  relation  to  him  there  are  such  lines  as,  "You  have  to  know  him 
before  you  begin  to  despise  him.''  The  mere  sight  of  him  scares  the 
heroine  into  the  jitters.  That  attitude  toward  him  is  maintained 
throughout  the  play,  though  no  specific  act  is  charged  against  him. 

Mr.  Lavery  follows  the  Communist  tactic  of  scaring  Americans  to 
death  with  their  own  atom  bomb.     Ever  since  the  armistice  it  seems 


124  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

to  me  that  the  people  of  the  United  States  have  been  engaged  in  one 
of  the  great  moral  ex]5eriments  in  the  history  of  mankind.  For  the 
first  time,  a  peoi)le  have  had  in  their  hands  an  invincible  weapon  and 
their  sole  concern  has  been  how  not  to  use  it.  In  exchange  for  that, 
the  leftists  have  called  us  warmongers.  They  have  insisted  that  we 
are  imperialists,  though  we  have  taken  no  territory  and  the  Russians 
have.  And  they  have  persistently  insisted  that  if  we  didn't  behave 
ourselves,  if  we  didn't  cease  to  be  warmongers,  if  we  didn't  cease  to  be 
imperialists  who  get  nothing,  that  we  would  be  blown  to  death  by  our 
own  atom  bomb. 

Now,  Mr.  La  very  promotes  that  same  idea  in  this  play.  One  line 
says : 

I  met  a  Russian  tlie  other  day.  He  wanted  to  bet  me  the  Russians  could 
smash  just  as  many  atoms  as  we  could.     But  I  was  smart.     I  wouldn't  bet  him. 

There  is  another  line.  The  heroine's  brother  remonstrating  with 
her  for  having  spent  her  last  thousand  dollars  to  go  to  Europe  to 
escape  from  the  air  of  Washington,  which  she  found  very  oppressive, 
says: 

Sure,  but  I'm  a  pretty  smart  fellow,  getting  smarter  all  the  time.  I  didn't 
have  to  take  my  last  thousand  dollars  and  throw  it  away  on  one  last  look  at  the 
vanishing  continent  of  Eui'ope.  No,  sir.  I  save  my  money.  I  got  all  the  dis- 
illusionment I  wanted  riglit  here  at  home.  I  just  stood  up  night  after  night  in 
the  best  Washington  bars  with  the  best  Senators  and  the  best  Congressmen  and 
the  best  everybody,  and  you  know  wliat,  I  feel  just  as  awful  as  you  do  and  I 
never  left  home  at  all. 

A  character  is  introduced  by  the  name  of  Big  Ed,  who  is  presented 
as  having  great  influence  as  a  fixer  with  Congress.     He  says  this : 

Every  time  there  is  trouble,  there  is  someone  who  survives.  The  only  trick  is 
to  make  sure  you're  among  the  survivors. 

The  central  character 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Pardon  me.  Was  Mr.  Lavery  an  unsuccessful  can- 
didate for  the  House  of  Representatives  in  the  last  election? 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  I  think  he  was. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  The  hero  of  this  play  is  a  racketeer  and  a  crook  who 
files  on  both  tickets  in  California  to  become  a  Member  of  the  House 
of  Representatives,  buys  votes,  and  wins  in  both  primaries.  Of  him 
it  is  said : 

He  is  no  worse  than  half  tlie  Congressmen  you  meet  and  a  lot  better  than  most. 
He  is  just  a  bit  more  open  about  things. 

In  the  second  scene,  he  is  presented  as  a  hero  because  he  socked  a 
member  of  the  House  Un-American  Activities  Committee  for  calling 
him  a  Communist,  though  no  evidence  is  offered  to  show  that  he  wasn't 
a  Communist.     He  says,  in  the  course  of  this  scene : 

Democrats  or  Republicans,  what's  the  difference.  Sure,  a  few  guys  on  each 
side  of  the  aisle  may  be  <^>n  the  up  and  up,  but  a  few  aren't  enough.  The  people 
who  built  this  country  had  a  wonderful  idea,  but  some  t)f  these  buzzards  in  the 
House,  they  don't  take  it  serious.  Hell,  they  run  it  like  it  was  some  kind  of  game. 
Yes;  and  not  a  very  straight  one,  either.  Hell,  if  I  wanted  to  play  that  kind 
of  play,  I  could  have  stayed  home  and  gone  down  to  Tia  .Tuana  or  Agua  Calieute. 
I  don't  have  to  come  to  Washington.  Oli,  wliat  the  hell.  Maybe  democracy 
isn't  such  a  hot  idea  after  all. 

That  is  one  of  his  speeches. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY  '    125 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  Mr.  Moffitt,  INIr.  La  very  is  the  president  of 
the  Screen  Writers  Gnild? 

Mr.  MoFrrrr.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Sthh'lin(;.  There  has  been  considerable  testimony  taken  here 
regarding  the  Connmniist  domination  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild. 
Do  yon  share  the  opinion  given  by  other  witnesses  that  it  is  under 
the  control  of  the  Connnunist  Party? 

Mr.  MoFi-TTT.  Yes,  sir;  I  do.  It  was  founded  by  John  Howard  Law- 
son.  It  has  an  electoral  system  that  I  think  makes  for  an  organiza- 
tional dictatorshij).  Nominations  are  not  made  from  the  floor.  There 
is  a  nominating  conunittee  api)ointed  by  the  officers — a  good  piece  of 
machinei-y  to  keep  themselves  in  power  for  as  long  as  they  please. 

I  think  the  record  of  the  Screen  Writers,  their  official  ]niblication, 
is  one  of  being  filled  with  leftist  propaganda  and  no  other  propaganda. 
No  one  dares  raise  his  voice.  The  meetings  that  I  have  attended  have 
been  c(mducted  so  that  the  Connnunists  howl  down  anyone  who 
attempts  to  raise  a  non-Connnunist  voice  and 

Mr.  Stkh'lino.  Pardon  me.  Do  all  writers  employed  in  the  motion- 
picture  industry  have  to  belong  to  the  Screen  Writers  Guild? 

.Mr.  JNIoFFrrr.  Eighty  i)ercent  of  them  have  to  because  of  a  ruling 
by  the  National  Labor  Relations  Board  recognizing  them  as  the  bar- 
gaining agent.  Very  few  writers  are  permitted  to  remain  in  that 
outside  20  percent.  The  studios  like  to  have  that  20  percent  always 
open  in  case  some  very  eminent  novelist  or  playwright  from  abroad 
is  brought  over  here.  They  don't  wish  to  make  him  go  through  that 
red  tape.  So  the  tendency  is  to  ask  all  writers  under  contract  and  prac- 
ticing and  living  in  Plollywood  to  belong  to  the  guild. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words,  if  you  are  employed  in  the  motion- 
picture  industry  as  a  writer,  it  is  necessary  almost  to  join  an  organi- 
zation which  is  under  the  domination  of  the  Communist  clique  within 
it;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  believe  it  is.  I  think  on  two  occasions  it  was  at- 
tempted to  run  a  ticket  of  candidates  for  officers  in  the  guild  on  the 
very  platfoi'in  that  they  were  opposed  to,  both  fascism  and  communism, 
but  that  never  came  off. 

Mr.  STRiPLiN(i.  Do  you  know  who  is  the  editor  of  the  Screen  Writ- 
ers magazine  ? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Gordon  Kahn  at  the  moment,  I  believe. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Was  Dalton  Trumbo  at  one  time  the  editor — in  1946, 
in  fact,  was  he  the  editor? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  I  think  Dalton  Trumbo  served  two  terms  as  editor. 
I  think  he  was  the  editor  when  the  magazine  was  first  incepted. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Does  the  magazine  reflect  the  party  line  in  its  edi- 
torial policy? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  It  reflects  an  extremely  leftist  line.  I  believe  that 
there  is  to  be  another  witness  who  is  better  qualified  to  go  into  that.  I 
have  not  made  a  ])ainst-aking  survey  of  it. 

I  might  also  add  that  Mr.  Lavery — I  don't  want  to  bore  you  with 
these  lengthy  quotations,  unless  you  wish  to  hear  them,  but  he  also 
strongly  advocates  that  the  United  States  abandon  its  sovereignty  to 
become  part  of  a  world  state.  In  the  course  of  the  play  he  admits  that 
the  Russians  don't  want  to  do  that,  either,  but  his  excuse  is  that  the 

67683 — 47 9 


126  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Russians  have  had  their  sovereignty  just  a  little  while  and  we  shouldn't 
be  impatient  if  they  wish  to  enjoy  it  for  some  time — but  that  we  have 
had  it  long  enough  that  we  should  be  willing  to  give  it  up. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Moffitt,  do  you  have  any  evidence  to  the  effect 
that  the  Communist  members  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  actively 
participate  in  Communist  Party  activities  in  Los  Angeles,  or  whether 
they  have  engaged  in  any  espionage  work  for  the  Communist  Party  ? 

Mr.  MorriTT.  Of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  MoFFiTT.  No,  sir;  I  don't  have  any  evidence — well,  that  is  a 
double  question.  There  has  been  ample  evidence  in  the  press,  in  the 
Hollywood  Citizen-News,  that  numbers  of  them  have  been  engaged 
in  Communist  activities.  I  don't  have  those  records  with  me.  I  can 
get  them  from  Los  Angeles. 

The  second  part  of  your  question  was :  Have  they  engaged  in  espio- 
nage ?  I  know  of  no  members  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  who  have 
engaged  in  espionage. 

Mr.  Stripling,  'i'he  reference  was  made  here  yesterday  by  Mr. 
Wood  to  the  effect  that  he  considered  these  people  to  be  the  agents  of 
a  foreign  government.  I  wondered  if  you  are  familiar  with  any 
activities  on  the  jxirt  of  anyone  in  Hollywood  who  is  a  Communist 
that  you  consider  to  be  engaged  in  activity  which  would  me  detri- 
mental to  the  best  interests  of  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes,  sir;  I  know  of  the  nctivity  of  Mr.  John  Weber, 
who  is  head  of  the  literary  department  of  the  William  Morris  Agency. 
Mr.  Weber 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  explain  what  the  William  Morris  Agency 
is,  please? 

Mr.  Moffitt.  The  William  Morris  Agency  is  one  of  the  many  talent 
agencies  that  are  in  the  business  of  selling  literary  material,  writers  or 
actors — any  artists  useful  to  the  screen — and  of  obtaining  contracts 
for  them.  For  that  service,  as  is  legal,  they  get  10  percent  of  that 
artist's  income.  Agencies  operate  under  a  State  law  which  fixes  their 
legal  commission  at  10  percent. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  were  speaking  of  Mr.  Weber. 

Mr.  Moffitt.  Yes.  Mr.  Weber  is  head  of  the  literary  department 
of  the  William  Morris  Agency.  He  is  assisted  by  Mr.  Dave  Ware — 
W-a-r-e. 

You  may  remember  that  early  this  year  Life  magazine  and  other 
publications  ran  the  picture  of  a  young  Army  test  pilot  by  the  name 
of  Slick  Goodlin — G-o-o-d-l-i-n.  Goodlin  was  assigned  to  test  the 
supersonic  plane  which  this  Government  had  invested  a  number  of 
millions  of  dollars  in.  Early  in  the  spring  Goodlin  came  to  Hollywood 
on  a  visit.  Mr,  Weber  and  a  number  of  people  of  strong  left-wing 
tendencies  got  to  the  boy.  They  told  him  that  one  engaged  in  his 
activity  should  most  certainly  have  a  wonderful  story  to  sell  to  the 
magazines.  I  understood  that  he  replied  that  anything  he  wrote 
would  have  to  be  passed  through  military  intelligence.  The  reply  was, 
"Oh,  of  course,  that  will  be  done,  but  let  us  see  a  sample  of  what  you  can 
write,  and  we  will  see  whether  it  is  admissible,"  whether  it  is  practical 
to  be  prepared  for  magazine  publication. 

The  boy  was  foolish  enough  to  do  this  and  his  story,  his  draft  of  a 
magazine  article  containing,  as  I  understand  it,  much  confidential  in- 
formation on  the  supersonic  plane  came  into  the  hands  of  Mr.  Weber, 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  127 

the  literary  agent  who  was  sent  to  Hollywood  by  Communist  head- 
quarters in  New  York.     I  understand  that  that  has  been  taken  up 
by  the  FBI. 
■  At  any  rate,  Goodlin  was  assigned  to  the  supersonic  plane. 
Weber  was  also  present  at  a  meeting  in  Hollywood  reported  by  the 
Hollywood  Citizen-News  as  follows: 

"Contemporary  Writers"  described  by  an  advertisement  in  the  Communist 
newspaper  Peoples  Daily  Woi-Id,  has  "a  counti-ywide  organization  of  Marxist  and 
anti-Fascist  writers,"  proceeded  witli  the  development  of  a  Hollywood  chapter. 

In  response  to  the  notice  in  the  Communist  newspaper,  about  80  Hollywood 
writers  met  over  the  Greyhound  bus  depot  on  Chuenga  Boulevard  last  night  to 
launch  the  program. 

They  heard  Charles  Glenn,  acting  chairman  of  the  chapter,  explain  that  it  is 
now  possible  to  get  anti-Fascist  views  published  in  popular  magazines  if  writers 
and  agents  go  about  it  in  the  right  way. 

Glenn  indicated  that  Contemporary  Writers  is  not  satisfied  with  getting  ma- 
terial published  in  magazines  like  the  New  Republic,  the  New  Masses,  and 
Main  Stream.  It  proposes  to  get  its  anti-Fascist  material  into  magazines  like 
Collier's. 

This,  he  promised,  is  not  as  difficult  as  the  writers  might  suppose.  '  Within 
the  past  few  months,  he  said.  Collier's  has  published  six  stories  which  conform 
to  the  views  of  the  new  organization. 

The  writers  were  cautioned  later  by  John  Weber,  a  writers'  agent  with  the 
William  Morris  Agency,  not  to  draw  unwarranted  conclusions  from  the  accept- 
ance of  these  stories  by  Collier's. 

"Publishers,"  he  said,  "will  take  anything  which  they  believe  will  be  profitable 
to  them." 

The  same,  he  said,  is  true  of  the  motion-picture  industry.  As  an  example 
of  the  inclinations  of  publishers  and  producers,  Weber  said  that  Daryl  Zanuck 
who  produced  the  Grapes  of  Wrath  was  now  fiddling  with  a  thing  called 
The  Iron  Curtain. 

The  principal  talk  was  given  by  Alvah  Bessie,  veteran  screen  writer  who 
was  introduced  as  a  hero  of  the  Spanish  Civil  War  in  which  he  served  with 
the  International  Brigade. 

Bessie  assured  the  writers  that  "There  are  never  two  sides  to  any  question." 

Is  there  anything  further^ 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Not  on  that  point.^^ 

Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  some  other  matters  which  I  would  like  to 
question  Mr.  MofRtt  about  but  which  I  desire  to  dispose  of  in  executive 
session.     Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at  this  time. 

The  CHAnaiAN.  With  regard  to  that  we  would  like  to  take  up  some 
of  those  pictures  that  you  mentioned  before  and  I  suggest  we  take 
those  up  in  executive  session.  Without  objection  we  will  take  those 
matters  up  in  executive  session. 

Mr.  Stripling.  If  you  are  going  to  have  an  executive  session  I  have 
no  further  questions  at  this  time.     I  would  like  Mr.  MofRtt  to  stand  by. 

The  Chairman.  Any  questions,  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  I  have  no  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDow^ell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Then  will  you  stand  by  and  we  will  get  in- touch 
with  you  just  as  soon  as  we  recess  toda3^ 

Call  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  is  Mr.  Ruppert 
Hughes. 


"  See  appendix,  pp.  526-528,  for  e.xhibits  30-32. 


128  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Hughes. 

Mr.  Hughes,  do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to 
give  will  be  the  truth,  the  w^iole  truth,  and  nothing  lout  the  truth,  so 
help  me  God? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  do. 

TESTIMONY  OF  RUPPERT  HUGHES 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Hughes,  will  you  i)lease  state  your  fidl  name? 

j\Ir.  Hughes,  liuppert  Hughes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  AVhat  is  your  present  address? 

Mr.  Hughes,  4751  Los  Feliz  Boulevard,  Los  Angeles. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wlien  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Hughes? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Lancaster,  Mo. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  what  year? 

Mr.  Hughes.  1872. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Hughes.  A  writer. 

]\Ir.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  been  a  writer  in  the  motion-picture 
industry  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Yes;  in  many  w^ays. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  here  inVesponse  to  a  subpena  served  on  you 
September  29  ?  -^ 

Mr.  Hughes.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  briefly  outline  to  the  committee  the  var- 
ious positions  you  have  held  as  a  writer  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Would  you  repeat  that,  please  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  sir.  Would  you  outline  for  the  committee  some 
of  the  various  writing  positions  you  have  held  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Well,  a  great  many  of  my  stories  were  put  in  films.  I 
was  made,  by  Samuel  (loldwyn,  one  of  the  so-called  eminent  authors; 
was  taken  to  Hollywood ;  became  a  scenario  writer,  and  was  there  for 
some  years  as  a  director. 

After  that  I  wrote  treatments  for  pictures.  I  was  with  the  Goldwyn 
studios  and  the  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  studios  for  many  years  until 
I  resigned.  After  that,  as  I  say,  I  wrote  a  few  treatments  for  pictures 
but  never  had  an  association  with  the  studios. 

I  believe  I  was  one  of  the  four  founders  of  the  Authors'  League  and 
one  of  the  few  founders  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild. 

That  went  along  very  well  for  a  few  years  until  John  Howard  Law- 
son  and  some  of  his  people  revived  it  in  order  to  make  it  an  instrument 
of  Comnmnist  power.  About  100  of  us  got  tired  of  this,  the  way  they 
were  going  at  things  and  blocking  everything  off  so  we  founded  the 
Screen  Playwrights. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  tell  us  in  what  year  that  was,  ^Ir.  Hughes? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  should  think  that  Avould  be  around  1925  or  1926.  I 
am  very  vague  as  to  the  dates. 

We  were  so  violently  attacked  by  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  people 
as  Fascists  and  enemies  of  freedom  that  they  were  finally  forced  to 
disband.  We  were  called  a  company  union,  of  course.  It  was  my 
theory  if  I  worked  for  a  man  I  owed  him  a  certain  loyalty;  if  I  didn't 
like  him  T  could  resign,  and  I  did  just  that. 


1 


=■■'  See  appendix,  p.  529,  for  exhibit  33. 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  129 

I  stayed  with  the  Screen  Phiywrights  and  the  Authors'  League, 
which  had  also  turned  to  be  Communist — it  is  recovering  now — de- 
manded that  I  resign  either  from  the  Authors'  League  or  the  Screen 
Playwrights.     I  refused  to  do  either. 

Then  Dudley  Nichols,  a  writer — I  don't  know  if  he  is  a  Communist 
hut  he  is  certainly  very  leftist — went  to  New  York  and  demanded  that 
the  xVuthors'  League  expel  me. 

Mr.  Stripling.  On  what  grounds,  Mr.  Hughes? 

Mr.  Hughes.  That  was  around  1932  or  1933. 

Air.  Stripling.  On  what  grounds  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  On  the  ground  that  I  disobeyed  the  orders  of  the 
council ;  my  conduct  was  unbecoming  a  member  of  the  Authors'  League. 

Connnunists  are  notable  for  two  things,  one  is  slavish  obedience  to 
their  orders  and  demands  of  slavish  obedience  from  others. 

The  American  Autliors'  Authority,  which  is  an  attempt  by  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild  to  take  all  American  authors  under  authority — 
I  claim  nobody  has  any  authority  over  American  writers,  particularly 
not  American  writers.     We  have  laws  on  the  books  for  that,  of  course. 

The  Screen  Writers  Guild  tried  to  get  me  forced  out  of  the  Authors' 
League.  As  I  say,  they  did  not  succeed.  Then  I  was  subjected  to  a 
great  deal  of  violent  attack  and  slander.     1  tried  to  answer  it  in  kind. 

I  don't  know  who  is  a  Communist  because  I  have  never  seen  a  Com- 
munist card  and  most  of  them  are  either  discreet  or  cowardly  enough 
to  refuse  to  admit  they  are  Connnunists. 

Mr.  Stripling.  M'r.  Hughes,  at  that  point,  however,  by  observing 
their  activities  and  the  line  which  they  followed  weren't  you  able  to 
discern  which  ones  were  closely  associated  with  the  Conmiuiiists,  even 
though  you  do  not  have  their  Communist  Party  cards  'i 

Mr.  Hughes.  Yes.  You  can't  help  smelling  them,  in  a  way.  Their 
ideas  are  all  one  way.  I  have  had  furious  debates  with  Emmett  Lavery 
in  forums  and  privately  in  the  Authors'  Guild,  where  they  tried  to  force 
their  authority  on  the  Authors'  Guild,  the  Dramatists'  Guild. 

Lavery  is  a  good  Catholic,  he  says,  but  I  say  a  man  whose  views 
are  Communist,  whose  friends  are  Communists,  and  whose  work  is 
comnuinistic  is  a  Communist.  1  would  say  if  a  wolf  wear's  sheep's 
clothing  that  man  is  a  wolf. 

I  think  those  19  gentlemen  have  labeled  themselves  as  Communists, 
but  1  don't  know  that  any  one  of  them  is  one. 

One  thing  that  I  feel  tests  a  Connnunist  is  this:  Before  we  entered 
the  Second  W^orld  War  Hitler  and  Stalin  were  buddies  connnitted  to 
great  ideals,  destroying  Eugland  and  then  the  United  States.  I  was 
asked  to  take  part  in  a  forum  at  the  University  of  California  at  Los 
Angeles. 

Til  is  might  have  a  bearing,  sir,  on  one  writer  who  is  quite  prominent. 
Herbert  liiberman,  a  very  ])rominent  writer,  attacked  at  this  Uni- 
versity of  California  forum,  England,  lend-lease,  Roosevelt,  conscrip- 
tion, every  prepared  measure  we  attemi)ted.  I  was  hissed  and  booed 
on  that  same  program  where  he  was  loudly  applauded  because  1  at- 
tacked Hitler,  who  was  then  in  partnership  with  Stalin.  I  was 
charged  by  Communists  in  resolutions  as  being  a  bloody-minded  de- 
generate trying  to  get  the  blood  of  American  boys  spilletl  on  foreign 
soil.     Biberman  took  ])art  in  that. 

Then  when  Hitler  attacked  Stalin.  Biberman  and  his  brethren  came 
down  and  joined  a  regiment  of  which  I  was  a  colonel.     Charlie  Chap- 


130  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

lin  came  to  New  York  and  demanded  an  accounting  for  it.  They 
were  all  fighting  for  Russia,  not  for  us. 

That  is  the  way  I  tell  a  Communist,  a  man  who  never  says  a  word 
against  the  bloodiest  butcher  in  history,  Stalin,  and  who  says  violent 
words  against  the  most  modest  American.     That  is  my  test. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Hughes,  do  you  consider  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild  to  be  under  Communist  domination  at  the  present  time? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Weakeningly  so.  It  was  absolutely  under  Communist 
domination  when  the  authority  was  put  to  use.  It  was  voted  for 
something  like  310  to  7  and  the  poor  7  were  hissed  and  booed.  It  was 
revived,  then  the  last  vote  was  something  like  225  to  125.  The  anti- 
Communists  are  trying  to  take  it  back  and  I  have  some  hopes  they 
will  succeed.  It  has  been,  up  to  the  present,  strongly  dominated  by 
Communists. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  the  Communists  in  Hollywood  at  the 
present  time  are  on  the  defensive  or  on  the  offensive  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  think  they  are  on  the  defensive  now  because  they 
are  losing  a  great  many  of  those  fashion  followers  who  thought  it  was 
smart  to  be  Communists  and  who  now  find  it  is  unpopular  and  are 
deserting  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  familiar  with  the  attacks  which  they  are 
now  leveling  against  anyone  who  is  opposed  to  their  party  line,  shall 
we  say?  For  example,  the  committee  and  this  investigation.  They 
have  issued  numerous  statements  and  documents  to  the  effect  that  the 
committee  is  attempting  to  bring  about  thought  control.  What  is 
your  opinion  as  to  the  thought-control  theme  which  they  are  now 
following  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  nearly  died  laughing  when  a  large  meeting  was  held 
in  Hollywood  by  a  great  many  leftists  who  oppose  thought  control.  In 
Russia,  which  they  defend,  thought  control  or  free  thought  is  as  im- 
possible as  free  speech,  free  press,  and  free  assembly. 

I  think  Mr.  Kenny  and  his  group  are  very  comical  in  challenging  a 
congressional  committee  for  investigating  things  when,  if  they  opened 
their  mouths  in  Russia,  they  w^ould  be  shot  before  they  could  open  them 
a  second  time. 

I  think  it  is  infamous  for  any  American  to  keep  quiet  about  Russia. 
Russia  may  be  fighting  us  any  minute — in  fact  is  fighting  us  now.  I 
think  any  Communist  is  an  enemy  spy  or  agent.  I  don't  think  we  ought 
to  speak  to  them.  We  ought  to  treat  them  the  way  we  treated  Benedict 
Arnold.  They  are  worse  than  Benedict  Arnold.  They  are  fighting 
every  effort  anyone  has  ever  made. 

Tiiey  tried  to  force  me  out  of  the  Authors'  League,  as  well  as  others. 
I  know  anti-Communist  writers  in  Hollywood  who  have  been  forced 
practically  to  starvation  by  the  refusal  of  the  Communist  writers  to 
work  for  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Hughes,  who  are  the  people  in  Hollywood  that 
you  feel  could  do  most  to  thwart  the  activities  of  the  Communists  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  think  tlieir  names  have  been  mentioned  here  numer- 
ous times.  I  would  subscribe  to  all  of  them.  I  have  a  poor  memory. 
You  read  them  to  me  and  I  can  give  you  my  opinion  of  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  am  afraid  you  misunderstood  my  question.  I  will 
reframe  it. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  131 

Who  would  the  responsibility  rest  with  for  cleaning  the  Communists 
out  of  tlie  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  HuGiiKS.  Well,  I  think  the  producers  in  general  should  do  it 
because  they  are  the  people  who  liire  and  fire.  I  think  they  have  been 
unjustifiably  lax.  They  have  paid  from  $2,000  to  $5,000  a  week  to 
men  whom  they  know  to  be  brilliant.  Many  Communists  are  very,  very 
brilliant.     They  permit  them  to  as  little  poison  in. 

They  say  no  Communist  pictures  have  been  put  forth.  Of  course 
they  haven't.  Mission  to  Moscow  was  a  Communist  picture.  That 
rather  discouraged  Communist  propaganda,  but  where  you  see  a  little 
drop  of  cyanide  in  the  picture,  a  small  grain  of  arsenic,  something  that 
makes  every  Senator,  ever^;  businessman,  every  employer  a  crook  and 
which  destroys  our  beliefs  in  American  free  enterprise  and  free  insti- 
tutions, that  is  communistic.    The  producer  should  stop  it. 

We  have  many  Communist  directoi's  who  not  only  permit  but  en- 
courage it.  We  have  a  flood  of  Communist  writers.  Some  of  them  are 
openly  Communists  and  some  secretly. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  mentioned  Communist  directors.  Are  there 
aijy  directors  you  consider  to  be  Communists? 

Mr.  Hughes.  The  directors  I  consider  to  be  Communists,  I  have  no 
information  from  personal  interviews  and  personal  talks  with  them, 
but  they  were  mentioned  here  by  Sam  Wood,  who  knows  them  all. 
He  had  a  terrific  fight  in  the  Directors'  Guild.  The  Communists  tried 
to  take  that  over.  They  tried  to  take  over  the  Actors'  Guild  and  they 
have  tried  to  take  over  everything  in  America. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  no  personal  knowledge  yourself  of  any 
Communist  directors  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Not  from  personal  contact. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  have  any  personal  knowledge  of  any  Com- 
munist writers  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  know  a  great  many  writers  whom  I  consider  very 
communistic,  though  I  haven't  seen  their  cards.  There  are  dozens  of 
them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Who  would  you  say  is  the  key  figure  in  the  Com- 
munist set-up  in  the  motion-picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  You  mean  as  distinguished  between  writers,  directors, 
and  producers  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes;  all  of  them.  Who  is  the  most  important,  to 
your  mind? 

Mr.  Huqhes.  I  think  they  are  all  equally  important  because  there 
has  to  be  team  play.  Everything  stems  from  the  writer.  The  director 
works  with  the  writer  and  of  course  the  producer  works  with  them 
both,  then  the  head  of  the  studio  works  with  them  all.  I  think  every- 
body shares  the  responsibility. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  there?  As  I  understand  the  ques- 
tion, 3^ou  meant  who  is  the  leader,  what  individual  is  the  Communist 
leader  out  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  couldn't  say  that  any  one  man  is. 

The  Chairman.  Who  has  the  most  influence  ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Some  individual,  you  mean  ? 

The  Chairman.  Yes ;  put  it  that  way. 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  should  hesitate  to  say  any  one  man  has  more  than 
anyone  else.   It  is  a  group  of  them. 


132  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  xVre  yon  faniiliiir  with  any  anti-C'omnmnist  films 
or  scripts  wliich  liave  been  submitted  or  films  which  have  been  protlnced 
in  Holl3'W()0(l  ? 

Mr.  HuGHKs.  I  can  tell  yon  of  two  experiences.  One  of  them  hap- 
pened to  me. 

A  man  came  to  me  and  wanted  to  do  an  anti-Commnnist  film  bnt  was 
afraid  to  do  one  directly  attackin<):  them,  for  fear  they  wonld  wreck 
the  theaters,  so  he  asked  me  to  do  a  picture  ridicnling  Communists 
and  said  AVarner  Bros,  would  be  interested  in  it  if  I  could  fui'uish 
a  story. 

I  went  over  it  at  luncheon  where  Jack  Warnei-  was  present,  Al  Jol- 
son,  who  was  then  a  stockholder,  and  otliers.  They  were  vei-y  enthu- 
siastic and  paid  me  $15,000  to  write  about  a  r),000-word  plot  attackin<»; 
American  Communists. 

In  the  meantime  Hal  Wallace,  who  was  their  business  manager,  had 
been  on  a  vacation  and  he  returned.  He  said,  "You  are  insane  to 
attempt  even  a  comic  picture  about  American  Communists  because 
they  will  put  stinkpots  in  every  theater  that  tries  to  show  it."  ♦ 

They  were  scared  off  and  never  did  the  picture.  I  had  my  $15,000 
and  I  still  have  my  story. 

This  is  hearsay  but  one  writer,  Galvin  Wells,  now  an  American 
citizen  who  was  an  Englishman,  went  to  Russia,  took  motion  pic- 
tures and  came  back  and  wrote  a  book  called  Caput,  because  everything 
in  Russia  was  broken  to  pieces,  all  the  taxicabs,  all  the  automobiles, 
all  the  machines.     Everything  was  caput. 

He  got  his  jiicture  through  with  some  difficulty  and  some  cleverness. 
He  told  me — this  is  only  hearsay — that  he  sold  the  picture  to  Sol  Lesser. 
Sol  Lesser  was  making  a  big  motion  picture  of  it  when  the  wife  of 
one  of  the  leading  Communist  writers — herself  being  a  very  prominent 
Communist — went  to  Sol  Lesser — this  so  I  am  told  by  Galvin  Wells — 
and  said,  "If  you  show  that  picture  we  will  cut  up  the  upholstery  and 
destroy  every  theater  where  it  is  shown."     Sol  Lesser  dropped  it. 

I  saw  the  picture  about  4  weeks  ago.  That  atmosphere  Avas  there, 
and  any  producer  who  had  the  faintest  idea  of  attacking  the  Com- 
munists was  scared  out,  frightened  by  a  conspiracy  to  wreck  the 
theaters,  put  stinkpots  in  the  theaters,  parade  in  front,  picket  them,  and 
everything  else. 

There  has  been  that  tyrannical  domination.  Hollywood  writers, 
producers,  and  directors  who  are  anti-Connnunist  have  been  scared 
into  silence. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  you  there? 

Mr.  Hughes.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Hughes,  you  may  have  brought  in  a  new  point 
that  we  have  not  had  given  to  us  before,  and  that  is  the  main  reason  why 
the  producers  do  not  show  anti-Communist  films,  because  of  the  fear 
they  would  have  that  the  Communists  would  go  in  there  and  disrupt 
the  audience  in  the  theater  and  in  that  way  they  would  not  make  any 
money  as  a  result  of  showing  these  pictures.  That  is  a  new  idea  you 
have  given  to  us. 

Mr.  HucJHES.  I  think  you  could  find  a  thousand  instances  of  it.  You 
know  what  stiidcpots  did  at  restaurants  where  they  had  labor  trouble 
and  picketed  them. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  133 

The  writers  are  clever.  It  has  been  abnost  impossible  for  years  to 
get  a  word  said  a<raiiist  the  CoiniDiuusts.  You  coiddirt  get  out  a  play 
or  book  against  them.  Tlie  i)ublishers  were  afraid  of  it.  Di'amatic 
criticism,  art  criticism,  theatrical  criticism,  book  criticism,  the  Com- 
munists have  had  very  powerful  domination  for  25  years.  That  is 
very  important,  too,  in  the  artistic  history  of  this  country. 

You  have  had  to  write  like  a  Russian  to  get  a  good  notice.  You 
have  had  to  have  a  rough  slice  of  life.  Coming  out  for  plain  Amer- 
ican ideals  was  cheap  hokum  and  that  has  affected  the  motion-picture 
production. 

I  pei'sonally  know  people  I  have  ])leaded  with  to  do  sonietliing 
against  connnunism  who  have  been  afraid  to  because  the  exhibitors 
are  afraid  to  show  such  a  picture. 

I  don't  think  you  could  em])hasize  strongly  enough  the  Connnunist 
propaganda  that  they  are  weak,  poor  little  things  being  poorly  treated. 
They  appeal  to  the  Bill  of  Rights  for  protection.  For  15  years  they 
have  tried  to  be  as  tyrannical  here  as  Stalin  has  been  in  Russia.  They 
have  frightened  writers,  producers,  actors,  actresses,  and  everyone  to 
death.    They  boycott  everything. 

Mr.  Striplixo.  Are  you  referring  specifically  to  the  Communist 
cli(iue  in  the  writers'  fields 

Mr.  Hughes.  AVhen  seven  men  voted  against  the  American  Authors' 
Authority  they  were  hissed  and  booed.  The  Communists  would  not 
write  with  them,  would  not  work  on  the  same  picture  with  them. 

Mr.  Striplino.  Mr.  Hughes,  what  steps  do  you  think  should  be  taken 
to  coml)at  the  Connnunist  influence  in  the  motion-picture  industry? 
Mr.  Hughes.  I  think  somebody  should  have  the  courage  and  the 
common  sense  to  do  it.  "We  are  on  the  point  of  a  war.  AVe  have  every- 
thing but  a  shooting  war  with  Russia  now.  Every  Communist  or  every 
man  who  tolerates  communism  is  tolerating  an  enemy  agent.  If  these 
Communists  are  not  directly  jiaid  by  Russia  they  are  being  cheated, 
because  they  are  doing  the  work  for  nothing.  I  think  they  should  be 
silenced,  deported,  or  treated  as  the  spies  and  agents  they  are. 
'  I  am  the  utmost  believer  in  tolerance  there  ever  was,  but  it  is  not 
tolerance  to  permit  ])eople  to  do  things  to  destroy  tolerance.  They 
claim  freedom  of  s])eech  but  would  destroy  it  when  they  got  the  power. 
On  the  radio  I  made  a  criticism  of  American  Communists.  They 
said.  "Get  that  so-and-so  off  the  air  and  keep  him  off.''  They  drove  off 
five  or  six  prominent  radio  commentators  because  they  were  anti- 
Communist.  Their  terrorizing  power  is  just  as  complete  as  Congress 
will  allow  it  to  be. 

Mr.  Striplix(;.  Do  you  think  the  Comnninist  Party  should  be  out- 
lawed ? 

Mr.  Hughes.  I  do.     I  reached  that  decision  with  great  hesitation. 

I  don't  see  why  we  should  allow  Russian  spies  and  agents  to  be  busy 

in  ',mr  c(nmtry.     The  writers  ai-e  doing  all  they  can  to  defend  our 

enemies,  enemies  of  humanity.    "Why  should  we  tolerate  it  ?    You  arrest 

a  man  for  putting  a  couj)le  of  indecent  words  in  a  book  and  then  let 

him  destroy  the  Bill  of  Rights,  the  Constitution,  and  evervthing  else. 

Mr.  Stripeix(;.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  CiiAiRMAx.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  Xo  questions. 


134  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Hughes. 

(Loud  applause.) 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  all  the  witnesses  for  today. 

The  Ciiair3ian.  Hearing  adjourned.  We  will  meet  at  10 :  30  to- 
morrow morning. 

(Whereupon,  at  3: 15  p.  m.,  an  adjournment  was  taken  until  10:  30 
a.  m.  of  the  following  day,  Wednesday,  October  22,  1947. 


HEAKINGS  REGAEDING  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTEATION 
OF  THE  MOTION-PICTUEE  INDUSTRY 


WEDNESDAY,   OCTOBER  22,   1947 

House  of  Representatives, 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities, 

Washington^  D.  G. 

The  committee  met  at  10 :  30  a.  m.,  Hon.  J.  Parnell  Thomas  (chair- 
man) presiding. 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order.  The  record  will 
show  that  tlie  following  members  are  present:  Mr.  McDowell,  Mr. 
Vail,  Mr.  Nixon,  and  Mr.  Thomas.    A  subcommittee  is  sitting. 

Mr.  Stripling,  the  first  witness. 

Staff  members  present :  Mr.  Robert  E.  Stripling,  chief  investigator; 
Messrs.  Louis  J.  Russell,  Robert  B.  Gaston,  H.  A.  Smith,  investigators; 
and  Mr.  Benjamin  Mandel,  director  of  research. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  first  witness  is  Mr.  James  McGuinness. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McGuinness,  do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the 
testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  do. 

The  Chairjman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  JAMES  K.  McGUINNESS 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  McGuinness,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address,  please. 

Mr.  McGuinness.  James  K.  McGuinness,  911  North  Rexford  Drive, 
Beverly  Hills,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wlien  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  McGuinness? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  was  born  in  Ireland,  December  20,  1894. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  am  a  motion-picture  executive. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  employed  at  what  studio? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  the  nature  of  your  duties  at  Metro-Goldwyn- 
Mayer? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  exercise  a  general  editorial  supervision  over  a 
proportion  of  the  scripts  prepared  for  production  in  that  studio. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Motion-Picture  Alliance 
for  the  Preservation  of  American  Ideals? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  am.    I  was  one  of  the  founder  members. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  presently  hold  any  position  in  the  organi- 
zation 2 

135 


136  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  McCii'ixxKSS.  I  am  a  member  of  tlie  executive  committee  in  that 
organization. 

Mr.  Sthiplinc;.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  examination  of  Mr.  McGuinness 
will  be  conducted  by  Mr.  Smith. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  SMrrir.  Mr.  McGuinness,  will  you  tell  us  what  the  purpose  of 
the  Motion-Picture  Alliance  for  the  Preservation  of  American  Ideals 
is? 

Mr.  Mc^GuiNXEss.  The  purpose  was  to  combat  what  we  regard  as  a 
^rowin<T:  menace  within  our  own  industry  of  Communists  and  to  some 
de<jree  Fascists,  and  to  preserve,  as  we  stated  in  our  original  prin- 
ciples, the  screen  in  its  loyalty  to  the  free  America  which  gave  it  birth. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  have  there  been  any  evidences  of  fas- 
cism in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  No.  There  have  been  some  Fascist  organiza- 
tions functioning  at  times  in  the  Los  Angeles  area,  but  no  branches  of 
those  organizations  ever  appeared  within  the  motion-picture  industry. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  have  you  been  connected  with  tlie  motion- 
picture  industry? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  About  21  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  During  that  time  in  what  various  capacities? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  was  a  writer,  a  writer-producer,  and  an  execu- 
tive. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  was  your  first  experience  with  connnunistic  ac- 
tivities in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  My  first  experience  was  during  the  reorganiza- 
tion of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  in  the  period  from  10o?>  to  1035. 
Under  that  reorganization  John  Howard  Lawson  was  the  first  presi- 
dent of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild. 

Sometime  in  1935  a  new  constitution  was  proposed  for  the  Authors 
League  of  America  and  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  as  a  component 
part  of  that  organization.  We  discovered — a  group  of  us  discovered — 
that  for  CO  days  there  had  been  an  intensive  campaign  of  small  meet- 
ings educating  selected  groups  of  the  members  of  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild  of  this  new  constitution.  It  had  been  kept  away  from  those 
members  who  might  have  been  critical,  or  who  might  conceivably 
have  opposed  it. 

On  analysis  of  that  constitution  we  found  that  it  would'  result  in 
centering  within  the  board  of  directors  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild 
such  a  control  over  the  economic  existence  of  all  writers  that  it  pro- 
vided for  disciplinary  measures  to  be  applied  to  writers  guilty  of 
conduct  prejudicial  to  the  good  order  of  the  guild — without  specify- 
ing what  that  conduct  was — that  a  man  could  be  destro^'ed  economi- 
cally under  that  authority.    , 

So  we  fought  ratification  of  that  proposed  constitution  and  bylaws. 

FVominent  in  that  fight  to  ratify  the  constitution  were  John  Howard 
Lawson,  Donald  Ogden  Stewart,  Tess  Schlessinger,  now  deceased,  and 
her  then  husband,  Frank  Davis. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  many  members  were  there  in  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild  in  1935? 

Mr.  JNlcGuiNNESs.  I  would  say  somewhere  between  300  and  400 
members. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  proportion  of  the  screen  writers  were  membeis  of 
the  guild? 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  137 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  At  that  time  I  would  say  perhaps  60  jjercent. 

Mr.  Smith.  Diirinfj  the  period  of  the  Hitler-Stalin  pact,  what  oc- 
curred at  a  convention  oi  the  Lea<>ue  of  American  Writers  held  in  New 
York? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  At  that  time  there  had  been  a  strike  at  the  North 
American  aircraft  factory  in  In<>;hnvood,  Calif.  President  Roosevelt 
denounced  the  strike  as  Connuunist-inspired  and  a  conspiracy.  He 
sent  troops  to  reopen  the  plant. 

There  was  a  convention  of  the  League  of  American  Writers  held  in 
New  York  simultaneously  with  this  occurrence,  which  was  attended 
by  members,  either  officers  or  members,  of  the  board  of  directors  of 
the  Screen  Writers  Guild.  A  teletiram  was  dispatched  to  the  Presi- 
dent from  the  convention  of  the  Leai2:ue  of  American  Writers,  and 
sifjned  by  four  members  of  the  executive  board,  or  the  board  of  di- 
rectors, of  tlie  Screen  Writers  Guild.  Two  of  the  names  I  recall. 
They  were  Donald  Ogden  Stewart  and  John  Howard  Lawson. 

In  Hollywood  there  was  immediate  resentment  to  this  telegi-am 
signed  by  officers  and  members  of  the  board  of  the  Screen  AVriters 
Guikl,  and  agitation  of  pi'otest  ensued.  Presently  those  four  members 
were  forced  to  resign  their  official  positions  in  the  guild. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  can  you  tell  us  any  other  Comnumist- 
front  organizations  that  were  formed  during  the  Stalin-Hitler  })act? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  during  the  Stalin-Hitler  })act,  during 
that  period  front  organizations  were  not  particularly  popular.  They 
were  formed  before  and  after  the  Hitler-Stalin  pact. 

Mr.  Smith.  What,  if  anything,  could  you  tell  us  about  the  Holly- 
wood Anti-Nazi  League? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  The  Hollywood  Anti-Nazi  League  was  formed 
with  a  very  sympathetic  title  which  enlisted  the  support  of  very  many 
excellent  and  patriotic  Americans  in  the  motion-picture  community. 

Shortly  after  its  organization  Mr.  Edward  Chodorov,  a  screen 
writer  and  playwright,  approached  Col.  Law^rence  Stallings,  the  author 
of  AAHiat  Price  Glory,  and  asked  him  if  he  and  I  w^ould  serve  as  co- 
chairmen  of  the  publicity  committee  of  that  organization.  Colonel 
Stallings  had  discussed  this  with  me,  and  having  had  some  experience 
with  Communist-controlled  groups  due  to  my  activity  in  the  Screen 
Writers  Guild.  I  said  I  would  be  only  too  happy  to  serve  if  somewhere, 
either  in  a  statement  of  j)rinciples,  or  in  the  title  of  the  organization, 
they  would  specify  they  were  equally  opposed  to  communism. 

Coloned  Stallings  carried  that  message  back  and  was  told  that  was 
impossible,  so  neither  Colonel  Stallings  or  I  served. 

Mr.  Smith.  The  American  Peace  Mobilization  was  formed  during 
the  time  you  referred  to,  I  believe.  Have  you  any  comments  regarding 
that  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  The  American  Peace  Mobilization  was  first 
formed  in  Hollywood  under  the  name,  I  think,  of  the  Emergency 
Peace  Conference.  Among  the  founder  members  was  Herbert  Biber- 
man,  a  motion-pictui-e  director. 

After  its  fcjrmation  in  Hollywood  it  took  on  national  scope,  became 
the  American  Peace  Mobilization,  and  during  the  period  of  the  Hitler- 
Stalin  pact  representatives  of  that  organization  picketed  the  White 
House,  denouncing  the  war  as  imperialist,  and  denouncing  the  Presi- 
dent as  a  warmonger. 


138  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  in  your  opinion  were  any  pictures 
made  during  the  period  June  1941  through  1945  which  you  would 
consider  pro-Communist  pictures? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  During  the  period  of  the  war,  when  I  would  pre- 
fer to  call  them  pro-Soviets  more  so  than  pro-Communist,  there  were 
three  pictures  made  which  have  been  discussed  before  this  Committee: 
Mission  to  Moscow,  which,  in  my  opinion,  distorted  history;  North 
Star,  and  Song  of  Russia,  which  represented  Russia  as  a  never-never 
land,  flowing  with  milk  and  honey.  I  never  regarded  them  too  seri- 
ously since  they  were  made  during  the  war.  In  fact,  I  looked  on  them 
as  a  form  of  intellectual  lend-lease. 

I  might  say  that  we  profited  by  reverse  lend-lease  because  during 
the  same  period  the  Communist  and  Communist-inclined  writers  in 
the  motion-picture  industry  were  given  leave  of  absence  to  become 
patriotic. 

During  that  time  under  my  general  supervision  Dalton  Trumbo 
wrote  two  magnificently  patriotic  scripts,  A  Guy  Named  Joe,  and 
Thirty  Seconds  Over  Tokyo,  which  made  excellent  pictures,  I  think. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  at  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  have  you 
ever  observed  any  efforts  on  behalf  of  the  Communist  Party  to  suppress 
a  picture? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  relate  that  to  the  committee? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  In  1941,  prior  to  our  entrance  into  the  war,  therfe 
was  written  and  produced  at  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  the  picture  called 
Tennessee  Johnson.  The  picture  was  based  on  the  life  of  Andrew 
Johnson.  It  was  basically  an  American  success  story  in  that  it  showed 
a  backwoodsman  from  Tennessee  who  was  illiterate  in  adulthood, 
taught  to  read  and  write  by  the  woman  who  later  became  his  wife, 
eventually  succeeding  to  the  office  of  President  of  the  United  States. 

It  showed  a  man  so  devoted  to  the  ideals  of  Abraham  Lincoln  that 
although  he  lacked  the  power  of  Lincoln  he  put  his  own  career  in 
jeopardy  to  carry  out  the  ideals  laid  down  by  his  predecessor. 

The  producer  of  this  picture,  J.  Walter  Reuben,  died  during  the 
actual  making  of  the  picture,  and  I  took  it  over  as 'part  of  my  executive 
functions. 

Before  the  shooting  of  the  picture  was  finished,  much  to  my  surprise, 
there  was  circulated  in  the  studio  a  protest  against  the  content  of  this 
picture,  signed  by  five  men  who,  in  my  opinion,  had  consistently  fol- 
lowed the  Communist  Party  line  in  every  twist  and  turn.  Those  men 
were  Donald  Ogden  Stewart;  Hy  Kraft,  a  writer;  Richard  Collins, 
a  writer ;  Jules  Dassin ;  and  Ring  Lardner,  Jr. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  right  there? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes,  sir.  ' 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  would  like  to  say,  ]\Ir.  McGuinness,  this 
committee  has  made  a  very  thorough  investigation  of  Communist 
personnel  in  Hollywood.  We  have  a  very  complete  record  on  at  least 
79  persons  active  out  in  Hollywood.  The  time  will  come  in  these 
hearings  when  this  documented  evidence  will  be  presented,  so  I  just 
want  to  let  you  know  now  you  cannot  make  the  kind  of  investigation 
we  can,  but  we  have  made  a  very  thorough  investigation,  and  that 
material  will  be  presented  at  this  public  hearing,  either  some  time 
this  week  or  some  time  next  week. 

Mr.  McDowell.  May  I  just  ask  this  question? 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  139 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 
•    Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  McGuiiiness,  you  said  a  protest  was  circulated 
in  the  studio.    In  what  fashion  was  tliat — to  whom  did  it  go  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  Perhaps  the  word  "circulated"  is  wrong.  The 
protest  was  signed  by  these  men  and  sent  to  Mr.  Al  Lickman,  the 
executive  vice  president  who  had  over-all  control  of  the  production 
of  this  picture. 

The  CiiAiRMAisr.  The  record  will  show  Mr.  Wood  is  present,  and  a 
quorum  of  the  full  committee  is  present. 

Mr.  Smith.  ]Mr.  McGuinness,  will  you  give  those  names  again  and 
spell  them,  please? 

Mr.  MuGuiNNESS.  Hy  Kraft — K-r-a-f -t ;  Donald  Ogden  Stewart. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  that  S-t-e-w-a-r-t  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes.    Ring  Lardner,  Jr. ;  Richard  Collins. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  Jules  Dassin  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes.    I  think  it  is  spelled  D-a-s-s-i-n. 

]\Ir.  S^iiTH.  AVas  there  any  more  information  or  further  statements 
made  at  that  time  as  to  what  this  group  or  their  associates  intended 
to  do  if  the  picture  was  not  suppressed? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  A  campaign  developed  immediately  afterward. 
The  picture,  which  had  not  been  finished  and  which  nobody  had  seen 
except  a  few  people  intimately  working  on  it,  was  attacked  as  misrep- 
resenting history  and  as  being  a  reflection  on  the  Negro  race. 

]\Ir.  Smith,  Was  the  picture  ever  finished  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  The  picture  was  finished.  I  could  not  at  first 
determine  the  reason  for  this  attack.  There  were  only  two  people  of 
the  colored  race  in  the  picture,  both  represented  as  dignified,  intelli- 
gent, and  fine  liuman  beings. 

I  discovered  later  through  investigation  that  since  we  had  made  a 
picture  concerning  the  life  of  Andrew  Johnson,  Thaddeus  Stephens 
had  appeared  as  a  manager  for  the  House  in  the  proceedings  in  the 
Senate  against  the  President;  that  Thaddeus  Stephens  had  been  used 
extensively  throughout  the  South  by  the  Communist  Party  as  the  first 
patron  saint  of  communism  in  the  United  States — as  a  very  heroic 
figure.  In  fact,  I  discovered  that  there  was  on  Central  Avenue  in 
Los  Angeles  a  Communist-front  club  called  the  Thaddeus  Stephens 
Club.  So,  in  representing  Mr.  Stephens  in  his  true  light  we  had 
apparently  done  the  Communists  a  disservice,  and  that  was  the  reason 
for  the  attempt  to  suppress  the  picture. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  it  your  opinion  their  attempts  were  somewhat 
successful  in  suppressing  that  picture? 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Smith,  I  want  to  say  something  right  here. 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  McDow^ELL.  Just  to  keep  the  record  straight,  Thaddeus  Stephens 
was  a  gieat  American  patriot  and  citizen.  Pennsylvania  is  very  proud 
of  Thaddeus  Stephens  and  the  role  he  played  in  American  history. 

The  Chairman.  Wliat  were  you  going  to  say,  Mr.  McGuinness? 

Mr.  McGuinness.   I  don't  want  to  get  into  a  political  debate. 

Mr.  S311TH.  ]Mr.  jSIcGuinness,  do  you  think  their  efforts  were  some- 
what successful  in  suppressing  this  picture? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes.  I  believe  they  hurt  the  picture  to  some 
extent  largely  because  of  agitation  against  it,  which  coincided  with  the 
attack  on  Pearl  Harbor,  which  preceded  the  release  of  the  picture. 


140  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Metro-Goldwvn-Mayer  decided  that  aiiytliiii<>;  which  might  create 
any  kind  of  disturbance  within  our  covnitry  at  that  time  was  inad- 
visable, and  not  a  contribution  to  the  war  effort,  so  they  made  no 
exploitation  campaign  based  on  this  agitation  and  mei'ely  released  the 
picture  in  a  routine  form. 

Mr.  Smith.  When  did  the  Conununists  start  penetrating  the  motion- 
I)icture  industry,  to  your  knowledge? 

Mr.  Mc'Cjuinnkss.  I  would  say  the  Conununists  began  to  penetrate 
the  motion-picture  industry  in  the  early  thirties;  that  with  the  growth 
of  the  threat  of  Hitler  and  nazism  they  rose  and  were  able  to  enlist  the 
support  of  many  fine  people  who  naturally  wanted  to  fight  fascism. 

During  the  Si)anish  civil  war  there  was  great  sympathy  in  many 
quarters  in  Hollywood  for  the  cause  of  the  Loyalists.  This  influence 
waned  during  the  Hitler-Stalin  pact,  which  revolted  against  many 
fair-minded  people,  and  it  rose  to  its  greatest  height  under  tlie  very 
favorable  climate  provided  when  Russia  and  ourselves  were  allies 
during  the  war. 

The  CiiAiKMAX.  Mr.  McGuinness,  in  regard  to  that  penetration,  the 
Communists  have  not  only  penetrated  the  motion-picture  industry, 
they  have  penetrated  labor,  education,  and  Government;  so  when  we 
investigate  communism  in  the  motion-picture  industry  we  are  not 
taking  any  rights  away  from  the  industry;  we  are  not  in  any  way 
trying  to  censor  the  movies.  What  we  are  doing  is  just  investigating 
communism  in  another  field. 

Therefore,  1  think  it  is  a  mistake  for  anyone  to  think  that  the  mo- 
tion-picture industry  has  a  special  privilege  of  innnunity. 

Isn't  that  also  your  belief? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  am  very  happy  to  hear  the  Chair 
state  that.  I  would  like  to  state  my  own  personal  and  deep  conviction 
that  the  very  vast  majority  of  the  men  and  women  who  work  in  the 
motion-picture  industry  are  as  fine  and  patriotic  Americans  as  will  be 
found  anywhere  else  oh  earth. 

But  I  think  with  an  ideological  conflict  tearing  the  world  to  pieces 
there  is  no  reason  why  Hollywood  should  be  the  one  white  spot  that 
escaped  this  plague. 

T,he  Chairman.  That  is  right.  These  79  j^ersons  that  I  named 
before  are  not  just  the  run-of-the-mill;  they  are  very  prominent  per- 
sons, i^rominent  in  the  industry,  and  those  are  the  people  that  we 
have  the  records  on;  those  are  people  whose  records  are  going  to  be 
brought  out  before  this  hearing  is  over.  Do  you  not  think  they 
should  be  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  that  the  greatest  fight  that  can  be  made 
against  comnninism  is  to  identify  the  Communists  and  to  force  them 
to  take  the  responsibility  that  every  other  American  takes,  to  a])pear 
publicly,  state,  advocate,  and  siii)port  his  own  beliefs,  and  be  judged 
by  the  American  jjeople  as  to  whether  those  beliefs  are  worth  while, 
or  not. 

The  Chairman.  Go  ahead. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  has  there  been  any  concerted  effort 
on  the  p'dvt  of  any  studio  to  eliminate  this  group  of  people  ? 

INIr.  McGuinness.  Well,  as  Mr.  Jack  Wai'uer  testified,  he  made 
an  effort — I  think  a  successful  one.  I  think  great  caution  has  been 
exercised  bv  the  management  of  the  Paramount  Studios.     I  think  a 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  141 

varyin<r  (le<iree  and  a  lesser  (U'<iree  of  viojilance — or  realization,  which 
1  think  is  a  better  \vor(l — has  been  shown  by  other  studios. 

However,  since  I  testified  in  Los  An<2;eles  this  s])rin^,  I  am  happy 
to  say  there  has  been  a  <j;rowin<j;  awareness  in  the  motion-picture 
industry  of  the  menace  of  communism;  that  it  has  been  fought  in  all 
the  unions  and  the  guilds,  and  successfully  in  most  of  them. 

Mr.  Smith.  As  an  executive  at  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,  what  do  you 
think  about  the  condition  there? 

Mr.  McCiuiNNESs.  I  don't  think  it  is  the  whitest  condition  in  the 
industry.    I  think  we  have  our  share  of  Communists  in  our  employ. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  stated  you  feel  it  has  been  successfully  combated 
in  the  guilds.    Is  that  your  opinion  as  to  the  Screen  Writers  Guild? 

Mr.  McCtuinness.  I  (qualified  that  by  saying  some  of  the  guilds.  I 
do  not  believe  it  has  been  successfully  combated  in  the  Screen  Writers 
(xuild. 

There  is  a  group  in  the  guild  now  attempting  to  organize  and  to 
)iresent  at  a  forthcoming  election  a  slate  of  candidates  opposed  to 
comnumism. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  do  you  know  who  Alvah  Bessie  is? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Who  is  he? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Alvah  Bessie  is  a  former  movie  critic  of  the  New 
Masses  who  came  to  Hollywood,  I  think — yes,  in  the  employ  of  War- 
ner Bros.  He  was  known  amongst  writers  I  knew  on  the  Warner 
Bros,  lot  as  the  party's  hatchet  man. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  consider  the  New  Masses  a  Communist  publi- 
cation? 

Mr.  Mc(iuiNNEss.  I  do. 

Mr.  Smith.  If  a  studio  releases  a  person  who  is  suspected  of  com- 
numistic  activities  w^ould  be  be  blackballed  in  other  studios? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  No. 

Mr.  Smith.  AVhat  would  happen,  in  your  opinion? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Hitherto  he  has  usually  been  promptly  hired  and 
sometimes,  or  perhaps  frequently,  at  an  increased  salary. 

Mr.  S3HTH.  Do  you  think  that  is  a  bad  situation  in  the  industry? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  would  like  to  answer  that  a  little  at  length. 

I  Ijidieve  there  is  no  legal  obligation  on  anybody  to  hire  anybody, 
nor  is  there  any  legal  com]:)ulsi<)n  on  anybody  to  tire  anybody.  I 
would  regret  that  any  man  was  deprived  of  his  livelihood  for  his  po- 
litical opinions  no  matter  ]\n\^  abhorrent  those  opinions  are  to  me. 

I  think,  however,  there  is  an  obligation  on  the  Congress  of  the 
United  States  as  greafor  greater  than  on  the  citizens,  who  have  sworn 
to  defend  this  country  against  all  its  enemies,  foreign  or  domestic,  to 
recogiuze  that  we  have  in  our  midst  an  active  tiftli  column,  a  group 
of  Quislings  who  intend  to  destroy  our  form  of  government  in  the 
service  of  a  foreign  ideology. 

•  Mr.  Smith.  How  many  writers  would  you  think  the  industry  would 
lose;  that  is,  top-flight  writers,  if  all  the  Communist  writers  were 
released? 

Mr.  Mc(tuinness.  Among  the  important  writers,  that  is,  the  actu- 
ally to})-flight  writers,  somewhere  between  10  and  15. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  many  pictures  a  year  do  you  think  the  studios 
would  lose  ^ 

67683—47 10 


142  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  Well,  if  those  10  or  15  writers  were  more  pro- 
ductive than  usual,  the  same  number  of  pictures. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  do  you  think  it  would  materially  hurt 
the  studio  operation  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  Not  in  my  opinion. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  know  of  any  reasons  why  the  studios  tended 
not  to  release  these  individuals? 

Mr.  McGuiNNEss.  Yes.  To  tell  you  that  I  must  try,  as  briefly  as 
possible,  to  sketch  the  studio  situation. 

Each  studio  has  as  paid  employees  a  staff  of  producers  who  have 
the  ultimate  responsibility  for  the  production  of  individual  pictures. 
It  is  a  highly  competitive  business  and  each  of  these  men,  since  he  is 
held  responsble  for  the  ultimate  success  or  failure  of  the  picture,  has 
great  latitude  in  the  selection  of  the  writer  who  will  prepare  the 
script,  and  frequently  the  director  who  will  direct  the  picture. 

He  usually  has  a  very  great  say  in  the  casting  of  the  picture.  That 
trust  must  be  imposed  on  him  by  the  head  of  the  studio  who  cannot 
personally  produce  each  picture. 

These  men  charged  with  production  are  primarily  showmen  and 
not  men  deeply  informed  on  the  dialectics  of  communism.  They  are 
more  concerned  with  getting  the  best  possible  script  than  with  any- 
thing else. 

If  some  writer  who  has  had  a  number  of  successes  is  available  at 
the  time  they  start  a  script,  they  will  exercise  every  effort  to  get  him 
because  a  good  script  is  the  primary  insurance  of  a  successful  picture. 

I  doubt  that  any  of  the  heads  of  studios  participate  in  the  selection 
of  the  writers  assigned  to  each  script.  I  think  it  is  humanly  impossible 
with  their  other  duties  for  the  men  running  the  studios  to  go  that 
deeply  into  the  detail  of  production. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mv.  McGuinness,  how  many  members  are  there  in  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild,  approximately? 

Mr.  JNIcGuiNNEss.  At  the  present  time  there  are  approximately 
1,000,  perhaps  a  few  less,  active  members,  which  means  members  who 
can  vote  at  the  guild  meetings.  There  are  approximately  300  asso- 
ciate members  who  are  members  not  qualified  to  vote.  The  qualifica- 
tion for  voting"  membership  in  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  is  very  low. 
Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  there  would  be  about  1,000  that  you 
think  are  permanently  unemployed  in  the  guild  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  wanted  to  say  that  because  of  this  low  qualifi- 
cation for  membership  I  believe  any  man  who  has  worked  13  weeks 
in  any  2  years  is  eligible  to  vote,  whether  or  not  he  has  written  any- 
thing that  ever  reaches  the  screen.  The  industry  normally  furnishes 
employment,  upward  and  downward,  for  350  writers  That  means 
that  Avithin  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  there  are  approximately  1,000 
members  permanently  unemployable. 

This  creates  a  very  fertile  field  for  agitation,  resentment,  propagan- 
dizing, and  profiting  by  the  discontent  or  the  unsuccessful. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  I  gather  from  that  that  the  people  who 
are  not  employed  as  writers  in  the  industry  can  control  this  guild  of 
some  1,300  people? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  believe  that  at  almost  every  Screen  Writers 
Guild  meeting  more  votes  are  cast  by  men  and  women  unemployed 
than  are  cast  by  men  and  women  who  are  employed. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  143 

Mr.  Smith.  Wliat  are  some  of  the  dangers  in  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  I  think  I  pointed  that  out  in  the  situation  in 
which  a  guild,  functioning  as  a  union,  has  so  many  unemployable 
members.  I  remember  discussing  this  situation  once  with  several  of 
the  important  A.  F.  of  L.  leaders  in  the  Los  Angeles  area.  I  cited  it 
to  them  and  said,  "What  do  you  think  this  situation  is  ?  Do  you  think 
it  is  healthy?"  The  reply  was,  "If  we  have  10  men  unemployable  in  a 
local  of  1,000  members  we  can  expect  fireworks." 

Mr.  Smith.  What  I  had  in  mind  was  this :  How  are  they  able  to 
control  the  new  writers,  the  younger  writers,  and  readers  through  the 
guilds? 

Mr.  McGuilsTNESS.  The  manner  of  control  of  younger  writers  varies. 
I  think  the  first  approach  is  to  the  youthful  idealism  and  the  youthful 
sense  of  revolt,  which  is  healthy  and  should  be  expected.  If  that  fails, 
young  writers  who  in  the  past,  at  least,  have  been  sympathetic  and 
followed  along  with  the  party  line  in  the  guild,  have  had  more  en- 
couragement, have  had  their  professional  efforts  supported  and  pushed 
by  the  tight  clique  in  control  of  the  guild,  the  writers  who  do  not  con- 
form, the  young  writers  find  themselves  largely  isolated  and  not  helped 
in  the  furthering  of  their  careers. 

Mr.  S-MiTH.  Mr.  McGuinness,  will  you  explain  the  operation  of  the 
reading  department  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  To  explain  that  I  must  tell  you  that  the  industry 
as  a  whole  produces  in  a  normal  year  approximately  500  feature- 
length  pictures.  The  material  for  those  pictures  comes  in  very  small 
measure  from  the  successful  plays  and  the  best-seller  novels.  I  would 
suppose  that  that  type  of  material  furnishes  20  to  30  feature-length 
pictures  a  year. 

Naturally,  that  material  is  familiar  to  every  head  of  a  studio,  to 
every  producer,  to  every  executive,  to  every  director  because  there  is  in- 
tense bidding  in  a  very  open  and  competitive  market  to  obtain  the  mo- 
tion-picture rights  to  highly  successful  material. 

But  the  necessity  of  motion-picture  release  and  the  demand  of  the- 
aters for  products  leaves  us  with  perhaps  450  to  470  pictures  still  to  be 
obtained.  A  great  flow  of  material  comes  to  the  reading  department 
of  every  studio.  It  would  be  impossible  for  any  executive  or  for  any 
head  of  any  studio  to  read  one-tenth  of  that  material,  even  if  he 
devoted  his  entire  time  to  it  and  did  no  other  work. 

So,  the  job  of  sorting  out  the  material,  the  run-of-the-mill  flow,  falls 
to  the  reading  department  which  can  decide  to  synopsize  or  not 
synopsize,  according  to  the  judgment  exercised  there  as  to  the  quality 
of  the  material. 

From  these  synopses,  and  about  15  or  20  reach  my  desk  each  week, 
selection  is  made  of  the  most  promising  material,  and  that  is  then 
considered  in  its  full  form. 

Those  members  of  the  Story  Analysts  Guild  who  are  sympathetic  to 
or  followers  of  the  Communist  Party,  are  in  a  position  to  promote,  all 
things  being  equal,  one  submitted  piece  of  material  coming  from 
people  sympathetic  to  their  cause,  and  to  suppress  material  coming 
from  anybody  unsympathetic  to  their  cause. 

Now,  i  want  you  to  understand  that  cannot  be  done  in  the  cases  of 
highly  important  or  highly  promising  material.     There  would  then 


144  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

be  the  d!Ui<jer  tliat  other  studios  might  buy  it,  make  a  successful  pic- 
ture, and  an  investigation  would  be  made  as  to  why  at  one  particular 
studio  that  was  not  submitted. 

But  in  many  cases  the  quality  of  the  ]iicture  does  not  depend  so 
much  on  what  selection  is  made  originally  from  the  run-of-the-mill 
material,  but  on  the  additional  values  given  to  that  material  by  the 
screen  writer,  the  producer,  the  director,  and  by  the  importance  of 
the  cast  put  in  the  picture. 

Mr.  Smith.  Was  it  your  observation  that  they  actually  do  attempt 
to  conti'ol  these  young  readers  in  that  manner? 

Mr.  McGuixxF.ss.  I  believe  they  do,  and  I  believe  to  a  good  extent 
they  have  been  successful.  I  might  say  that  since  I  first  testified  to 
this  there  has  been  a  healthier  and  better  situation  developing  in  that 
very  guild. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  mentioned  a  few  pictures  a  while  ago  that  you 
thought  were  pro-Soviet  pictures.  During  the  time  those  pictures 
were  made  were  there  any  anti-Communist  pictures  made  by  any  of 
the  studios,  to  your  knowledge? 

Mr.  M(^GuiNNf:ss.  Not  during  the  war  period.  Mr.  Mayer  men- 
tioned two  made  at  my  studio,  Ninotchka  and  Comrade  XI,  prior  to 
the  outbreak  of  the  war. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  think  some  anti-Communist  pictures  should  be 
made? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  I  certainly  do. 

Mr.  SiMiTH.  Do  you  mean  shorts  or  full-length  pictures,  or  both? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  Both. 

The  Chairman.  Eight  along  that  point,  Mr.  McGuinness,  why  is 
it  they  are  not  being  made? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  It  takes  a  long  while  from  the  inception  of  the 
idea  of  producing  a  picture  until  it  actually  gets  before  the  screen. 
Sometimes  it  takes  a  year's  work  on  the  script,  sometimes  2  years'  work. 
You  have  to  find  a  story.  You  nnist  remember  it  is  not  so  long  since 
Russia  was  our  ally.  Nobody  at  that  time  wanted  to  make  an  anti- 
Communist  picture. 

It  took  some  time  for  the  hope  that  we  would  eventually  reach  an 
undei-standing  with  Russia  to  f:ide.  I  think  nc^w  some  studios  have 
already  found  strong  anti-Connnunist  material,  and  otliers  are  search- 
ing ior  it. 

I  think  that  when  the  first  picture  is  made  public  reaction  to  it  will 
determine  how  numy  more  wnll  or  will  not  follow. 

The  Chairman.  You  heard  the  testimony  yesterday,  did  you? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  You  heard  one  of  the  witnesses  say  that  if  they  did 
make  an  anti-Communist  film  the  movie  houses  would  be  picketed, 
stink  bombs  would  be  used,  and  the  audience  would  be  discouraged  and 
people  would  not  attend.     What  have  you  to  say  on  that  points 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  that  thi-eat  has  been  used  in  the  past.  I 
would  hate  to  think  that  the  industry  as  a  whole,  if  confronted  with 
that  threat,  would  not  have  the  courage  to  face  it. 

However,  theaters  are  very  vulnerable  places  economically.  As  Mr. 
Hughes  pointed  out,  one  stink  bomb  in  a  theater  is  a  vei-y  disastrous 
occurrence.  Motion  pictures  live  from  their  day-by-day  receipts.  If 
you  lose  a  week's  receipts  in  theaters  throughout  the  country  it  is  a 
very  serious  financial  matter.     Our  product  is  time;  our  market  is 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  145 

time.  There  are  only  52  weeks  in  the  year.  If  we  lose  1  week  out  of 
the  52  we  have  lost  one-fil'ty-secoiid  of  the  revenue  and  we  can  never 
recover  it. 

Mr.  Nixon.-  As  a  matter  of  fact,  Mr.  McGuiness,  if  tliose  tactics — 
the  stench  bomb,  the  pickets,  and  tlie  usual  tactics  which  ai'e  used  by 
the  Communists  when  they  don't  like  what  is  going  on  in  the  theater, 
or  in  any  kind  of  a  building — were  used,  Avouldn't  that  be  the  finest 
advertising  that  a  motion  picture  could  get  and  wouldn't  that  probably 
make  the  picture  from  the  standpoint  of  public  acceptance? 

Mr.  McGuiNNEss.  I  personally  believe  it  would.  I  think  it  would 
be  embarrassing  to  the  manager  of  the  theater  concerned  and  create  a 
local  problem,  but  I  think  nationally  the  American  people  would  rally 
to  the  support  of  a  picture  that  was  attacked  for  the  expiession  of  a 
viewpoint  that  I  think  is  the  viewpoint  of  the  Nation  today. 

Mr.  Nixon.  In  other  words,  a  picture  telling  the  truth  about  totali- 
tarian communism,  setting  forth  the  facts — and  such  a  picture,  we 
assume,  would  be  an  anti-Connnunist  picture.  But  a  picture  doing 
that  would  be  a  really  good  business  gamble  from  the  standpoint  of 
the  industry,  in  j-our  opinion? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  I  think  it  would  be  a  good  business  gamble,  and 
I  think  it  is  a  necessary  moral  obligation. 

The  Chairman.  Well,  has  the  industry  the  will  to  make  anti-Com- 
munist pictures  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNEss.  I  think  the  industry  is  acquiring  it. 

Mr.  Chairman,  our  connnunity,  Hollywood,  the  motion-picture  com- 
munity, offered  refuge  to  many  vocal,  articulate  people  who 
escaped  from  the  lash  of  Hitler.  They  were  artists,  actors,  musicians, 
writers.  They  were  accustomed  to  expressing  themselves,  and  they 
brought  home  very  forcibly  to  Hollywood  the  dangers  of  the  Fascist 
and  Nazi  regime.  I  could  only  wish  that  a  small  proportion  of  the 
same  people  who  have  suffered  under  Stalin  could  come  out  from  be- 
hind the  iron  curtain  and  reach  Hollywood  and  spread  their  message 
there,  too.    I  think  it  would  be  very  helpful. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McGuinness,  will  these  public  hearings  aid  the 
industry  in  giving  it  the  will  to  make  these  pictures? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  It  is  my  opinion  that  they  will. 

The  Chairman.  Any  other  member  have  any  questions  at  this  point  ? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Proceed,  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  MGM  making  any 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute. 

Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  Is  counsel  through  ? 

The  Chairman.  No. 

Mr.  S.MiTH.  No 

Mr.  Wood.  Well.  I  will  wait  until  counsel  is  thi'ough. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  MGM  making  any  anti-Communist  pictures  at  this 
time,  to  your  knowledge  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  We  are  making  a  picture,  the  original  title  of 
which  was  The  Red  Danube.  It  is  a  novel  by  Bruce  INIarshall,  a  Scotch- 
man, and  a  very  excellent  writer.  I  believe  that  the  novel  was  released 
by  the  Book  of  the  Month  Club,  with  the  changed  title  Ves|)ers  in 
Vienna.    I  do  not  know  at  this  time  what  title  we  will  use  on  the  pic- 


146  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

ture.  Certainly,  I  favor  The  Red  Danube.  I  think  that  this  can  be  a 
first-rate  picture,  in  that  the  novel,  itself,  which  is  written  by  a  Catho- 
lic, presents  the  problem  in  occupied  Vienna,  in  the  clash  between  the 
western  democratic  theory  of  existence  and  the  totalitarian  expressed 
by  the  Russians  in  that  same  area. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  you  heard  the  chairman  state  a  while 
ago  that  there  was  connnunism  not  only  in  the  industry  but  in  other 
places  wl\Qre  it  is  a  grave  danger.  It  is  my  recollection  that  during 
the  war  the  various  studios  made  a  number  of  patriotic  pictures  and 
disseminated  them  through  the  schools  and  other  places  to  assist  in 
the  patriotic  -war  effort.  Why  can't  the  studios  do  that  as  far  as 
anti-Communist  pictures  are  concerned  and  circulate  them  through 
the  schools  and  churches  to  assist  in  fighting  this  problem  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  The  studios  during  the  war,  and  as  a  very  patri- 
otic service,  and  of  which  I  and  everybody  in  the  motion-picture  indus- 
try is  proud,  furnished  shorts  for  the  Government — made  them  in  the 
studios,  processed  them,  sent  prints  to  their  various  exchanges,  and 
charged  nothing  except  for  the  actual  raw  material  of  the  film  and  the 
labor  costs  of  the  technicians  employed.  No  overhead  or  no  profit 
ever  was  charged  on  any  one  of  the  shorts  made  for  the  Government. 
They  were  sent  to  the  theatres  without  charge  for  playing  time. 

I  think  if  the  industry  became  convinced  of  this  emergency  and  was 
approached  again  on  the  necessity  of  doing  a  patriotic  and  public  duty, 
that  some  of  these  films  might  very  well  be  made  and  apportioned 
among  the  various  studios  to  make. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  lieard  a  number  of  people  mentioned  as  being  com- 
munistically  inclined  in  the  various  studios.  As  a  practical  matter, 
don't  you  feel  that  their  opposition  would  be  such  that  it  would  be 
extremely  difficult  for  a  studio  to  make  such  a  picture? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  that  a  year,  or  perhaps  6  months,  ago,  that 
opposition  which  is  tight  and  well  organized  and  had  not  then  been 
identified  conceivably  could  have  hampered  the  production  of  such 
pictures,  persuaded  people  that  they  were  not  liberal  if  thej  made  an 
anti-Communist  picture,  or  by  various  devices  which  they  use,  includ- 
ing in  some  cases  intimidation,  could  certainly  have  hampered  such  an 
effort. 

I  feel  that  today  there  is  a  greater  conscious  danger  and  that  their 
efforts  would  by  no  means  be  so  successful  today  as  they  might  have 
been  6  months  or  a  year  ago. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  give  us  any  other  examples  as  to  how  the  Com- 
munists have  misused  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes ;  I  think  that  one  of  the  greatest  disservices 
that  the  Communists  liave  done  to  Hollywood  has  been  in  their  verj 
clever  use  of  the  name  "Hollywood"  or  motion  pictures  in  the  titles  of 
various  front  organizations.  Hollywood  has  a  glamor  value  that  at- 
tracts crowds,  particularly  when  you  get  out  of  the  Hollywood  area 
where  the  glamor  personalities  are  a  day-by-day  occurrence  and  so 
are  permitted  to  live  fairly  normal  lives.  But  the  presence  of  a  mo- 
tion-picture name  billing  a  Communist-front  rally,  or  a  front-organi- 
zation rally,  is  highly  successful  in  attracting  crowds  to  such  a  nxUj 
who  normally  would  not  be  attracted  to  the  rally  itself. 

I  have  never  seen  one  of  these  rallies  at  w^liich  a  collection  was  not 
taken  up  and  at  which  some  substantial  sum  was  not  raised. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  147 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  McGuinness,  my  investigation  reflects  that  it  isn't 
necessary  for  these  Communist  writers  to  actually  put  any  material 
into  pictures,  but  that  it  is  possible  for  them  to  receive  lar^e  salaries 
each  M'eek  and  from  that  salary  donate  to  the  Communist  l*ai'ty  and 
actually  further  and  operate  their  activities  throughout  the  United 
States. 

Is  it  your  opinion  that  that  can  be  done,  being  affiliated  in  the 
studios? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  that  is  done.  I  think  that  substantial 
sums  of  money  are  raised  in  Hollywood,  or  raised  through  the  adver- 
tising power  of  Hollywood  personalities. 

I  also  think  if  the  industry  was  surveyed  and  every  picture  it  has 
made  for  the  last  10  years  appraised  that  the  weight  of  evidence  in 
favor  of  constructive  American  pictures  on  the  screen  would  be  pre- 
ponderantly in  the  favor  of  the  industry  and  its  patriotism.  But  I 
do  not  maintain,  and  I  could  not  maintain,  that  vigilance  has  been 
so  successful  that  nothing  has  ever  crept  by. 

I  want  to  state,  as  Mr.  Menjou  did,  that  I  believe  no  head  of  any 
studio  with  whom  I  am  acquainted — and  I  also  know  most  of  them 
over  a  great  period  of  years — would  consciously  allow  any  propaganda 
that  served  a  Communist  purpose  to  get  on  the  screen.  But  I  do  not 
think  we  have  been  infallible.  I  think  we  have  stubbed  our  toe  occa- 
sionally.    I  think  we  will  do  it  less  in  the  future. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  feel,  Mr.  McGuinness,  that  they  have  plenty  of 
time  and  that  if  they  get  more  writers  and  more  leaders  and  more 
control  as  the  time  goes  on  that  the  vigilance  will  become  more  difficult 
and  they  then  can  at  some  time  in  the  future  take  over  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  believe  this :  There  has  been  a  long  strike,  one 
of  the  longest  in  the  labor  history  in  the  United  States,  going  on  in 
Hollywood.  That  strike  began  with  a  very  strong  supporting  group 
of  guilds  which  had  been  organized  and  brought  together  by  Herbert 
K.  Sorrell,  about  whom  there  has  been  considerable  testimony  before 
this  committee.  It  was  an  amusing  feature  of  his  organizational  work 
that  some  years  ago  he  issued  cards  as  painters  to  the  Screen  Office 
employees  who  were  the  stenographers,  the  clerks,  and  the  telephone 
operators;  also  to  the  General  Publicists  Guild — and  there  may  be 
some  justification  for  thinking  the  press  agents  paint — and  also  to  the 
Story  Analysts  Guild.  However,  when  the  strike  was  called  many  of 
these  guilds  rebelled  against  the  idea  of  respecting  picket  lines  by 
order  from  headquarters.  Membership  meetings  were  held  at  which 
the  issue  was  forced  to  a  vote  of  the  membership.  In  the  case  of  the 
Screen  Office  Employees  Guild  they  voted  not  to  respect  the  strike, 
and  they  subsequently  broke  away  from  the  painters'  union  and  re- 
organized themselves  as  the  separate  Office  Workers  Employees  Guild 
under  charter  from  the  American  Federation  of  Labor.  Had  Sorrell 
and  his  group  won  that  strike,  which,  incidentally,  was  supported  to 
the  utmost  by  the  controlling  group  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild — 
they  attempted  to  get  the  Directors  Guild  or  the  Actors  Guild  to  sup- 
port the  strike,  also  to  the  extent  of  not  crossing  picket  lines,  and  they 
were  unsuccessful  in  that  attempt — but  had  they  succeeded  they  would 
have  had  a  tight  hold  on  many  of  the  important  guilds  and  unions,  the 
craft  unions,  within  the  industry.  This  would  have  been  attained  at 
a  time  when  the  present  Screen  Writers  Guild  contract  with  the  pro- 
ducers has  only  about  a  year  or  15  months  to  run. 


148  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE    INDUSTRY 

In  the  reiiefrotialion  of  tliiit  contract  they  Avoiikl  have  l)een  in  a  jjosi- 
tioii  to  insist  on  control  of  their  own  material,  and  that  if  it  is  ever 
achieved  will  be  tlie  end  of  the  free  screen  in  America. 

Ml-.  Smith.  Mr.  McCJuinness,  as  I  recall  your  testimony,  you  have 
stated  that  you  believe  these  Conununists  were  enemies — of  a  foreign 
agent — or  agents  of  a  foreign  government. 

Mv.  AfcGuiNXEss.  I  ])elieve  them  to  be  definitely  in  the  service  of  a 
foreign  government.  I  do  not  know  whether  all  of  them  consciously 
know  they  are,  but  the  directives  come  to  them  from  on  high,  and  they 
carry  them  out. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  any  further  suggestions  for  tlie  consideration 
of  this  committee  as  to  how  to  combat  this  serious  problem? 

Mr.  McCtuinness.  I  think  that  the  first  and  primary  requisite  is  edir- 
cation  of  the  American  public  to  the  menace  that  exists  and  to  the 
methods  used  in  the  unions,  in  the  guilds,  and  in  the  various  mediums 
of  communication  by  j)arty  members  and  paity  liners. 

I  believe  beyond  that,  as  I  said  l)efore,  that  legislation  is  necessary. 
I  would  be  reluctant  to  see  legislation  directed  at  anyone  for  his  politi- 
cal beliefs,  but  I  believe  that  the  time  will  come  when  it  is  vital  for 
the  continued  existence  of  our  Nation  to  recognize  this  enemy  in  our 
midst  as  an  enemy.  We  cannot  sacrifice  our  own  freedom  to  those  who 
are  using  it  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  freedom. 

Mr.  Smith.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I.have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  Mr.  ]\IcGuinness,  I  gather  from  your  testimony  that  you 
have  never  had  occasion  to  question  the  loyalty  and  the  patriotism  of 
any  of  the  picture  producers  or  responsible  studio  heads? 

Mr.  McGuixNEss.  I  not  only  don't  question  it,  I  assert  that  they  are 
loyal  and  patriotic. 

Mr.  Wood.  Counsel  has  asked  you  a  question  as  to  whether  or  not 
in  your  own  opinion  the  effect  of  the  elimination  from  the  industry 
of  these  writers  and  others  who  are  recognized  as  embracing  com- 
munistic doctrines  would  weaken  the  efficiency  of  the  industry,  itself, 
and  I  understood  you  to  say  that  in  your  opinion  it  wouldn't ;  isn't  that 
correct  ? 

]VIr.  McGuiNNEss.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Wood.  You  did  state,  however,  as  I  recall,  that  you  would  not 
advocate  any  legislation  or  action  of  any  sort  that  would  deprive  a 
man  of  his  livelihood  by  reason  of  his  political  beliefs? 

Mr.  McGuiNXEss.  I  did. 

Mr.  Wood.  To  which  sentiment  I  subscribe  heartijy.  But  there  are 
nations  in  this  worhl  of  ours  today  that  practice  a  political  philosophy 
that  is  embraced  and  is  being  preached  by  people  who  subscribe  to  that 
faith  in  this  country;  isn't  that  right  ? 

Mr.  ]\IcGriNXEss.  Yes. 

Mr.  Wood.  And  don't  you  think  it  would  be  a  sort  of  considerable 
educational  value  if  those  people  should  ply  their  trade  and  engage 
in  their  activities  in  countries  that  are  c(mtrolled  by  that  philosophy? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  I  thir.k  tliat  would  be  ideal.  I  don't  know 
wdiether  you  can  achieve  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Wood.  And  do  you  know  of  any  instance  in  which  any  jierson 
of  that  political  belief  in  this  country  would  have  any  difficulty 
in  obtaining  access  to  the  countries  that  recognize  that  political 
})hilosophy  ? 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  .  149 

Mr.  Mc(jUIXNKss.  Well,  from  what  I  have  read,  the  Soviet  Union 
is  very  nnicli  more  selective  abont  whom  they  accept.  I  believe  that 
some  of  our  Soviet  and  Connnunist  sympathizers  mi<>;ht  be  acceptable — 
I  don't  know  whether  all  will  be  acceptable — to  the  Soviet  Union. 

Mr.  Wood.  Do  yon  know  of  any  instance  in  which  any  of  them  who 
advocate  that  political  philosopliy  have  ever  had  any  difficulty  in 
obtaining  entrance  into  any  country  that  is  dominated  by  that  school 
of  thought? 

Mr.  Mc"Guixxi<:ss.  No;  I  do  not. 

Mr.  Wood.  Well,  have  yon  read  this  morning's  editorial  in  the 
AVasliin<>ton  Post  ? 

Mr.  McCjuinxess.  No.    I  think  there  was  a  cartoon  in  it  that  I  saw. 

Mr.  Wood.  It  had,  to  me.  a  very  interestinjj  editorial,  somewhat 
taking  to  task  certain  members  of  the  industry  who  have  appeared 
here  as  witnesses  because  of  their  pi-onounced  unwillingness  to  assume 
the  legal  implications  that  might  be  involved  by  concerted  action  on 
the  part  of  the  responsible  heads  of  the  industry  to  eliminate  this  class 
of  people  from  their  employment,  and  in  view  of  the  recent  decisions 
of  the  Supreme  Court  and  a  court  of  one  of  our  States,  particularly 
New  Yoik,  to  the  effect  that  the  term  "communism"  is  such  an  odious 
term  that  it  formed  tlie  fouiulation  for  an  action  in  damages  and  in 
libel  against  a  person  who  might  apply  it  to  another.  Don't  you  think 
that  the  responsible  studio  heads  of  this  country  have  at  least  some 
justification  in  their  unwillingness  by  their  concerted  action  to  under- 
take to  eliminate  men  from  their  employment  for  that  reason? 

Mr.  McGuiNXESs.  I  am  not  a  lawyer,  but  I  believe  that  legally  con- 
certed action  might  be  deemed  conspiracy. 

Mr.  Wood.  It  is  difficult  in  this  country  to  prove  that  a  man  is  a 
Conmumist ;  isn't  it? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  It  is.  My  own  observation  of  what  constitutes  a 
Communist  has  been  based  somewhat  on  this  principle,  that  if  a  man 
goes  into  a  saloon  every  night  for  10  years  I  have  to  presume  that  he 
didn't  go  there  to  get  a  lemonade.  I  also  follow  the  pattern  of  be- 
havior established  by  Attorney  General  Biddle  of  the  various  twists 
and  turns  of  the  Communist  Party  in  relation  to  the  Hitler-Stalin 
pact  period  when  it  was  an  imperialist  war.  the  change  of  front  and 
attitude  when  Hitler  attacked  Stalin,  the  demand  then  that  we  go  all 
out  to  aid  the  Allies,  and  the  su})sequent  demand  for  a  second  front. 

I  might  add  that  since  the  Attorney  General  has  left  office  there 
is  the  additional  return  to  the  revolutionary  technique,  on  the  basis 
of  the  Jacques  Duclos  letter  which  ordered  the  American  party  to 
get  rid  of  its  boss. 

The  CHAimr.vN.  May  we  have  more  order,  please. 

Mr.  Wood.  In  view,  then,  of  the  legal  implications  that  are  in- 
volved, and  that  might  at  least  be  put  in  force,  do  you  think  a  charge 
against  the  responsible  heads  of  the  moving-picture  industry  in  Amer- 
ica that  they  had  been  derelict  in  their  duty  for  not  conspiring  to- 
gether to  eliminate  ])eo])le  from  their  industry  because  of  their  political 
beliefs  is  a  little  bit  unfair? 

Mr.  McGuixNEss.  I  think  that  that  charge  is  unfair.  I  advocate 
no  conspiracy  by  any  group  of  men,  including  the  Communists.  I 
think  that  each  producer  or  head  of  a  studio  nuist  decide  for  himself 
what  his  attitude  is. 


150  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Wood.  Wouldn't  it  be  very  simple,  in  your  opinion,  ]\Ir.  Mc- 
Guinness,  if  the  Congress  would  simply  by  amendatory  legislation 
provide  that  the  controlling  heads  of  any  industry  may,  if  they  have 
reasonable  grounds  to  conclude  that  a  man  is  engaged  in  activities 
detrimental  to  this  Government,  and  aiding  a  philosophy  that  is  de- 
signed to  overthrow  it,  would  have  the  right  to  eliminate  them  and 
that  other  people  in  that  industry  would  have  the  right  to  decline 
to  employ  them  for  that  reason,  without  fear  of  future  legal 
implications? 

Mr.  McGuiNNEss.  I  agree  with  that  in  principle,  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  Thank  you. 

That  is  all,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  McGuinness,  in  attempting  to  influence  the  motion 
pictures  one  way  or  another,  either  in  keeping  out  the  facts  about 
communism  or  in  keeping  out  the  facts  about  the  American  way  of 
life  or  distorting  those  facts,  what  would  you  say  was  the  more  impor- 
tant :  The  writer  or  the  actor  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  The  writer. 

Mr.  Nixon.  The  actor  has  probably  very  little  control  on  that  par- 
ticular score  and  could  do  very  little? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  It  depends  on  his  importance.  Most  stars  are 
listened  to  and  their  opinions  carry  weight 

Mv.  Nixon.  Well _  . 

Mr.  McGuinness  (continuing).  About  a  script,  but  very  few  of 
them,  if  any,  have  a  veto  power  on  what  pictures  they  appear  in. 

Mr.  Nixon.  But  in  the  making  of  the  actual  picture  itself,  the 
writer  is  by  far  the  more  important  of  the  two  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Oh,  yes. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  the  same  would  be  true  in  relationship  to  the  di- 
rector and  the  actor? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Yes ;  I  think  the  director  is  more  important  in 
forming  and  framing  the  picture  than  the  actor. 

Mr.  Nixon..  That  is  right.  So,  as  far  as  the  Communists  are  con- 
cerned, their  primary  aim  in  Hollywood,  if  they  are  attempting  to  in- 
fluence the  motion  pictures  in  one  way  or  another,  is  to  attempt  to  en- 
list the  support  first  of  writers  and,  second,  of  directors  and  probably 
a  very  poor  third  of  actors. 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  don't  think  that  they  have  neglected  the  actors, 
but  I  think  for  their  purposes- 


Mr.  Nixon.  For  their  purposes 

Mr.  IVIcGuiNNESs  (continuing).  The  order  you  establish  is  correct. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Yes;  and  if  they  have  been  extremely  successful,  or 
relatively  successful,  in  obtaining  the  support  of  writers  and  direc- 
tors, they  have  accomplished  their  purpose  to  an  extent,  at  least? 

Mr.  AIcGuiNNESS.  They  have  to  an  extent.     Not  completely. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Now,  during  the  war  you  said  that  the  Communist 
writers  wei'e  given  a  leave  of  absence,  as  you  put  it,  to  write  pictures 
which  showed  America  in  a  favorable  light.  Do  you  mean  by  that 
that  before  that  time,  and  since  that  time,  they  did  not  have  a  leave 
of  absence  to  tell  the  true  facts  about  America  ? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Since  the  Duclos  letter — we  had  described  in 
quite  some  detail  yesterday. the  series  of  discussions  or  articles  in  the 
Communist  press,  in  which  as  a  final  result  Mr.  Albert  Maltz  was 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  151 

forced  to  eat  his  own  words,  disciplined,  and  had  to  confess  error  and 
return  to  what  he  termed  the  Marxist  basis  for  all  writers.  That  is 
what  I  mean  by  the  terminology  "leave  of  absence." 

Mr.  Nixon.  I  see.  So  at  the  present  time  the  Communist  writers 
in  Hollywood,  or  those  who  are  following  the  Communist  line,  do 
not  have,  as  you  put  it,  a  so-called  leave  of  absence  to  either,  one,  tell 
the  true  facts  about  America,  and,  two,  tell  the  true  facts  about  totali- 
tarian communism. 

Mr.  McGuiNNESs.  I  believe  that  to  be  the  condition. 

Mr.  Nixon.  In  other  words,  the  situation  at  the  present  time  is  that 
those  who  are  following  the  Communist  line  as  writers  in  Hollywood 
are  under  direction  to  distort  the  facts  about  America  and  to  suppress 
the  facts  about  totalitarian  communism? 

Mr.  McGuiNNEss.  I  believe  that  to  be  true. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Well,  in  view  of  that  fact,  if  you  had,  as  a  studio  execu- 
tive, in  your  employ  writers  who  you  knew  were,  (1)  either  members 
of  the  Communist  Party — which  might  be  unlikely,  I  admit,  from 
the  standpoint  of  proof — or,  (2)  who  had  consistently  followed  the 
Communist  line,  would  you  feel  that  if  they  were  to  remain  in  your 
employ  they  would  have  to  be  watched  very  carefully  from  the 
standpoint  of  the  type  of  pictures  that  they  produced  and  their 
activities  in  attempting  to  control  the  pictures  in  some  way? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  Yes;  I  believe  they  should  be  watched  with 
vigilance  continually. 

Mr.  NixoN.  And  the  reason  you  feel  that  they  would  have  to  be 
watched  is  that  because  they  do  follow  the  line  which  you  have  ex- 
plained these  writers,  and  directors  as  well,  assuming  that  some  of 
those  would  be  involved,  constitute  a  potential  danger  to  the  industry 
and  to  the  country  as  well  in  that  what  they  advocate  and  what  they 
are  working  for  would  destroy  the  principles  which  you  believe  in 
and  which  most  of  us  in  America  believe  in  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  I  believe  that  the  only  group  in  the  United  States 
organized  for  the  purpose  of  exercising  thought  control  is  the  Com- 
munist group  and  if  they  ever  got  control  of  the  industry  nothing 
would  ever  appear  on  the  screen  but  their  own  conception  of  what  was 
best  for  all  of  us. 

Mr.  NixoN.  So,  if  a  motion  picture  does  not,  as  far  as  the  Com- 
munist writer  or  sympathizer  is  concerned,  as  we  have  put  it  before, 
distort  the  facts  about  America,  or  suppress  the  facts  about  commu- 
nistic Russia,  then  is  it  not  true  that  those  people  in  Hollywood  pro- 
ceed to  call  such  pictures  or  people  who  attempt  to  promote  such 
pictures  Fascists,  un-American,  and  enemies  of  free  speech — anti- 
liberals? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  They  call  us  all  that,  and  I  could  elaborate  the 
list. 

Mr.  Nixon.  You  mean  you  don't  want  to  say  anything  that  can't 
go  over  the  air  ? 

Mr.  McGuiNNESS.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  so,  in  your  opinion,  the  most  violent  opponents 
of  a  free  screen  in  Hollywood,  and  of  free  speech,  are  the  Communists 
and  the  Communist  Party  liners,  because  as  far  as  they  are  concerned 
they  oppose  unequivocably  telling  the  truth  and  the  facts  about  Com- 
munist Russia,  or  anything  that  would  in  any  way  criticize  com- 
munism in  Russia,  or  any  other  totalitarian  Communist  country  and 


152  COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

because  tliey  deliberately  attempt  1o  distort  the  facts  about  America? 

Mr.  McGuixxESs.  I  a<rree  witli  (hat  absolutely.  I  think  they  are 
a  contimiing  menace  to  free  speech  and  free  expression. 

Mr.  Nixox.  And  these  are  the  same  people  who  are  saying  that 
this  committee,  in  this  hearing  today,  in  attempting  to  point  out  the 
activities  that  they  have  been  indulging  in — this  suppression  of  facts 
and  distorting  the  facts — is  attempting  to  control  the  free  screen  in 
Hollywood? 

Mr.  McGuixxESS.  They  say  it;  I  don't  believe  it. 

Mr.  Nixox\  In  other  words 

Mr.  INIcGuixxESS.  I  think — I  beg  your  pardon  ? 

Mr.  Nixox.  Go  ahead. 

Mr.  McGuix-^XESS.  I  think  this  is.  again,  the  use  of  the  Communist 
fear  technique,  and  if  the  witnesses  who  have  appeared  here  had  not 
been  so  consistently  smeared  for  their  attitude  and  became  sort  of 
calloused  to  the  smearing  attack  of  the  Communists  I  think  they 
would  have  succeeded  by  that  very  cry  of  ''Red-baiter,"  "witch  hunt," 
"un-American."  They  might  have  succeeded  in  intimidating  some  of 
the  witnesses.     I  think  that  was  their  basic  and  primary  purpose. 

Mr.  Nixox.  And  if  the  Communists  in  Hollywood  were  left  alone, 
in  Hollywood  and  in  other  places  where  they  have  access  to  informa- 
tion media  in  this  country,  and  no  efforts  were  made  to  point  out 
their  activities  so  the  people  could  judge  them  for  what  they  were, 
and  they  thereby  could  accomplish  their  purposes,  that  would  be  the 
end  of  free  speech,  a  free  screen,  and  free  radio  in  America? 

Mr.  McGuixxESS.  It  would. 

Mr.  Nixon.  I  agree  with  you  that  once  they  are  out  in  the  open 
thev  should  say  what  they  w^ant  to  say. 

that  is  all. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell 

Mr.  Striplixtg.  Mr.  Chairman,  before  you  proceed,  I  wonder  if  we 
could  place  in  the  record  the  articles  by  Albert  Maltz  to  which  the 
witness  referred  and  which  were  referred  to  yesterday? 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  it  is  so  ordered.^* 

(The  documents  referred  to  are  as  follows :) 

What  Shall  We  Ask  of  Writers? 

By   Albert    Maltz 

(New  Masses,  February  12,  19-16,  p.  19) 

Isiflor  Schneider's  frank  and  earnest  article  on  writers'  iiroblems  (NM,  Octo- 
ber 23,  I94r))  is  very  welcome.  In  atteniptin,^  to  add  to  his  disciission.  I  ask 
that  my  observations  be  taken  for  what  they  are:  The  comments  of  a  working 
writer,  not  the  presentation  of  a  formal  esthetician.  It  is  likely  that  some  of 
my  statements  are  too  sweeping,  others  badly  formulated.  I  urge  that  the 
attention  of  readers,  however,  be  directed  to  the  problem  itself,  rather  than 
to  fornmlations  which  may  be  imperfect.  All  who  ar(>  earnestly  desirous  of 
a  rich.  exi»anding  literature  in  America  have  the  obligation  of  charting  the 
course.  This  common  effort  must  not  languish  while  we  search  for  unassailable 
definitions. 

It  has  been  my  conclusion  for  some  time  that  much  of  left-wing  artistic 
activity — both  creative  and  critical — has  been  restricted,  narrowed,  turned  away 
from  life,  sometimes  made  sterile — because  the  atmosphere  and  thinking  of  the 
literary  left  wing  has  been  based, upon  a  shallow  approach.    Let  me  add  that  the 

^^  See  appendix,  p.  .'")29.  for  oxliibits  .34-36. 


COMMUNISM   IN    JNIOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY  153 

left  wing  has  also  offered  a  iiuiuber  of  vital  liitelleetual  assets  to  the  writer — 
such  as  its  insistence  that  important  writing  cannot  he  socially  idle — that  it 
must  he  humane  in  content,  etc.  Schneidei-  enumerated  these  assets  and  I  take 
them  here  for  granted.  But  right  uow  it  is  essential  to  iliscuss  where  things 
have  gone  wrong — why  and  how. 

I  believe  that  the  effects  of  the  shallow  approach  I  have  mentioned — like  a 
poison  in  tiie  blood  stream — largely  cause  the  problems  Schneider  mentioned. 
Indeed,  these  problems  are  merely  the  pustules  upon  the  body,  the  sign  of  ill 
health. 

Let  me  underscore  that  I  am  referring  only  to  artistic  activity,  not  to  .iournal- 
ism.  Schneider  differentiates  generally  between  writing  for  the.  moment  and 
writing  enduring  works.  There  are  other  ways  of  phrasing  this  distinction,  but 
his  is  a  useful  one — provided  it  is  not  taken  with  mechanical  literalness.  For 
instance,  certain  works  have  been  written  for  the  moment  which  nevertheless 
prove  to  contain  enduring  values.  Such  examples  do  not  alter  the  true  meaning 
of  Schneider's  categories. 

Schneider  went  on  to  state,  correctly,  that:  "*  *  *  to  report  inunediate 
events  or  to  pi'opagandize  for  inunediate  objectives  *  *  *  jg  an  honorable 
as  well  as  a  useful  function.  (John  Keed  *  *  *  Ehrenburg. )  The  harm," 
he  added,  "is  in  confusing  the  two.  Some  writers  have  sought  to  solve  a  conflict 
of  conscience  by  trying  to  do  the  two  in  one"  ( i.  e.,  journalism  and  art).  "They 
have  written  books  in  such  a  way  as  also  to  serve  immediate  political  expediencies. 
The  results  showed  either  in  weakened  and  schematic  writing — or  wasted  writ- 
ing." 

In  these  remarks,  Schneider  recognizes  the  problem,  describes  it  accurately- — but 
does  not  go  on  to  uncover  the  deep  source  of  it.  Left-wing  writers  have  been 
confused  ;  yes.    But  why? 

The  answer,  1  believe,  is  tliis  :  Most  writers  on  the  left  have  been  confused. 
"The  conHict  of  conscience,"  resulting  in  wasted  writing  or  bad  art,  has  been  in- 
duced in  the  writer  by  the  intellectual  atmosphere  of  the  left  wing.  The  errors 
of  individual  writers  or  critics  largely  liow  from  a  central  source,  I  believe.  That 
source  is  the  vulgarization  of  the  theory  of  art  which  lies  behind  left-wing  think- 
ing, namely,  "art  is  a  weapon." 

Let  me  emphasize  that,  properly  and  broadly  interpreted,  I  accept  this  doctrine 
to  be  true.  The  ideas,  ethical  concepts,  credos  upon  which  a  writer  dra\\"s  con- 
sciously or  unconsciously  are  those  of  his  period.  In  turn,  the  accepted  beliefs 
of  any  period  reflect  those  values  which  are  satisfactory  to  the  class  holding 
dominant  social  power.  To  the  degree  that  works  of  art  reflect  or  attack  these 
values,  it  is  broadly — not  always  specifically — true  to  say  that  works  of  art  have 
been,  and  can  be.  weapons  in  men's  thinking,  and  therefore  in  the  struggle  of 
social  classes,  either  on  the  side  of  humanity's  progress,  or  on  the  side  of  reaction. 
But  as  interpreted  in  practice  for  the  last  !.">  years  of  the  left  wing  in  America, 
it  has  become  a  hard  rock  of  narrow  thinking.  The  total  concept,  "art  is  a 
weapon,"  has  been  viewed  as  though  it  consisted  of  only  one  word:  "weapon." 
The  nature  of  art — how  art  may  best  be  a  w^eapon,  and  how  it  may  not  be — has 
been  slurred  over.  I  have  come  to  believe  that  the  accepted  understanding  of  art  as 
a  weapon  is  not  a  useful  guide,  hut  a  strait-jacket.  I  have  felt  this  in  my  own 
works  and  viewed  it  in  the  works  of  others.  In  order  to  write  at  all,  it  has  long 
since  become  necessary  for  me  to  i-epudiate  it  and  abandon  it. 

Whatever  its  original  stimulating  utility  in  the  late  twenties  or  the  early 
thirties,  this  doctrine,  "art  is  a  weapon,"  over  the  years  in  day-to-day  wear  and 
tear  was  convei-ted  from  a  profound  analytic,  historical  insight  into  a  vulgar 
slogan  :  "Art  should  be  a  weapon."  This,  in  turn,  was  even  m(n-e  narrowly  inter- 
preted into  the  following:  "Art  should  be  a  weapon  as  a  leaflet  is  a  weapon." 
Finally,  in  practice,  it  lias  been  understood  to  mean  that  unless  art  is  a  weapon 
like  a  leaflet,  .serving  immediate  political  ends,  necessities,  and  programs,  it  is 
worthless  or  escapist  or  vicious. 

The  result  of  this  abuse  and  misuse  of  a  concept  upon  the  critic's  apparatus  of 
approach  has  been,  and  must  be.  disastrous.  From  it  tlow  all  of  the  constrictions 
and — we  nuist  be  honest — stupidities  too  often  found  in  the  earnest  but  narrow 
thinking  and  practice  of  the  literary  left  wing  in  these  past  years.  And  this  has 
been  inevitable. 

First  of  all.  luider  the  domination  of  this  vulgarized  approach,  creative  works 
are  judged  primai-ily  by  their  formal  ideology.  What  el.se  can  happen  if  art  is  a 
weapon  as  a  leaflet  is  a  weapon?  If  a  work,  however  thin  or  inept  as  a  piece  of 
literary  fabric,  expresses  ideas  that  .seem  to  fit  the  correct  political  tactics  of  the 
time,  it  is  a  foregone  conclusion  that  it  will  be  reviewed  warmly,  if  not  enthusi- 


154  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

astically.  But  if  the  work,  no  matter  how  hich  in  human  insight,  character  por- 
trayal, and  imagination,  seems  to  imply  "wrong"  political  conclusions,  then  it 
will  be  indicted,  severally  mauled,  or  beheaded,  as  the  case  may  be. 

Let  me  give  a  recent  example  of  this  unhappy  pattern:  When  Lillian  Hellman's 
magnificent  play.  Watch  on  the  Rhine,  was  produced  in  1940,  the  New  Masses* 
critic  attacked  it.  When  it  appeared,  unaltered,  as  a  film  in  1942,  the  New  Masses' 
critic  hailed  it.  The  changed  attitude  came  not  from  the  fact  that  two  different 
critics  were  involved,  but  from  the  fact  that  events  had  transpired  in  the  2  years 
calling  for  a  different  political  program.  This  work  of  art  was  not  viewed  on 
either  occasion  as  to  its  real  quality,  its  deep  revelation  of  life,  character,  and  the 
social  scene,  but  primarily  as  to  whether  or  not  it  was  the  proper  "leaflet"  for  the 
moment. 

There  is  an  opposite  error,  corollary  to  this:  New  Masses'  critics  have  again 
and  again  praised  works  as  art  that  no  one — themselves  included — would  bother 
to  read  now,  10  years  later.  In  fact,  it  once  even  gave  a  prize  to  such  a  book. 
This  is  not  due  to  the  fact  that  those  who  have  written  criticism  for  the  magazine 
have  personally  been  without  taste  or  intelligence  or  integrity.  The  evil  lies  in 
the  abandonment  of  taste  because  a  shallow  approach-  does  not  permit  it.  Literary 
taste  can  only  operate  in  a  crippled  manner  when  canons  of  immediate  political 
utility  are  the  primary  values  of  judgment  to  be  applied  indiscriminately  to  all 
books. 

Again,  from  this  type  of  thinking  comes  that  approach  which  demands  of 
each  written  work  that  it  contain  "the  whole  truth."  An  author  writes  a  novel, 
let  us  say,  about  an  unemployed  Negro  during  the  depression.  The  central 
character,  after  many  harsh  vicissitudes,  ends  by  stealing  and  is  sent  to  the 
penitentiary.  If  a  book  with  this  content  were  to  be  richly  rendered,  it  might 
be  highly  illuminating  in  its  portrayal  of  an  aspect  of  Negro  life  in  America. 
But,  again  and  again  I  have  seen  such  works,  justifiably  confined  to  only  one 
sector  of  experience,  severely  criticized  because  they  do  not  contain  "the  whole 
truth."  Upon  examination  this  "whole  truth"  reveals  itself  to  be  purely  political. 
The  narrow  critic  is  demanding  that  the  novelist  also  show  that  some  unemployed 
Negroes  join  the  unemployed  councils,  etc.  This  demand,  which  I  have  seen 
repeated  in  varied  ways  in  the  pages  of  the  New  Masses,  rests  upon  the  psy- 
chological assumption  that  readers  come  to  each  book  with  an  empty  head.  They 
know  nothing,  understand  nothing.  Therefore,  all  they  will  ever  know  of 
Negro  life  in  America  must  be  contained  in  this  book.  Therefore,  if  the  author 
has  omitted  to  say  that  some  unemployed  Negroes  join  organizations,  it  is  a 
deficient  book  because  it  doesn't  contain  "the  whole  truth,"  and  it  doesn't  properly 
fill  the  total  vacuum  of  the  reader's  mind. 

The  creative  writer,  respecting  this  type  of  criticism,  is  faced  with  insuperable 
diflficulties.  He  is  confronted  with  thie  apparent  obligation  of  writing  both  a 
novel  and  an  editorial  that  will  embrace  all  current  political  propositions  re- 
motely touching  his  material.  Whether  or  not  his  character  would  join  the 
unemplo.ved  council  is  of  not  matter ;  whether  or  not  the  material  and  artistic 
concept  of  the  book  forbid  the  exa^irnaticn  of  otner  clinracters — that,  too,  is  of 
no  matter.  By  hook  oi'  crook  the  ni;iterial  must  he  so  rendered  that  the  whole 
polit.cal  "truth"  of  tiic  scene  is  made  visible,  and  the  empty-handed  reader  is 
thereby  won  to  new  horizons — Q.  E.  D. 

This  is  not  a  method  by  which  art  can  be  made  rich,  or  the  artist  freed  to  do 
his  most  useful  work.     Let  those  who  deny  this  ask  working  writers. 

From  this  narrow  approach  to  art  another  error  also  follows  rather  auto- 
matically. If,  in  actual  practice — no  matter  how  we  revere  art — we  assume 
that  a  writer  making  a  speech  is  performing  the  same  act  as  writing  a  novel, 
then  we  are  helpless  to  judge  works  written  by  those  who  make  the  "wrong"  sort 
of  speeches.  Engels  was  never  bothered  by  this  problem.  For  instance,  he  said 
of  Balzac — I  paraphrase— that  Balzac  taught  him  more  about  the  social  structure 
of  France  than  all  of  the  economists,  sociologists,  etc.,  of  the  period.  But  who 
was  Balzac?  He  was  a  Royalist,  consistently  and  virulently  antidemocratic, 
anti-Socialist,  anti-Communist  in  his  thinking  as  a  citizen. 

In  his  appreciation  of  Balzac,  Engels  understood  two  facts  about  art:  First, 
as  I  have  already  stated,  the  writer,  qua  citizen,  making  an  election  speech,  and 
the  writer,  qua  artist,  writing  a  novel,  is  performing  two  very  different  acts. 
Second,  Engels  understood  that  a  writer  may  be  confused,  or  even  stupid  and  reac- 
tionary in  thinking — and  yet  it  is  possible  for  him  to  do  good,  even  great,  work  as 
an  artist — work  that  even  serves  ends  he  despises.  This  point  is  critical  for  an 
understanding  of  art  and  artists.  An  artist  can  be  a  great  artist  without  being 
an  integrated  or  a  logical  or  a  progressive  thinker  on  all  matters.     This  is  so 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  155 

because  he  presents  not  a  systematized  philosophy  but  the  nnaginative  reconstrue- 
tion  of  a  sector  of  human  experience.  Indeed,  most  people  do  not  think  with  thor- 
ouKhguing  hjgic.  We  are  all  acquainted  with  Jews  who  understand  the  necessity 
of  fighting  fascism,  but  who  do  not  see  the  relationship  between  fascism  and  their 
own  discrimination  toward  Negroes.  We  l<now  Negroes  who  fight  discrimination 
against  themselves,  but  are  anti-Semitic.  I  am  acquainted  with  the  curator  of  a 
museum  who  has  made  distinguisiied  contributions  in  his  scientific  field,  but  who 
sees  no  contradiction  between  his  veneration  for  science  and  his  racist  attitude 
toward  Negroes.  Out  of  these  same  human  failings  many  artists  are  able  to  lead 
an  intellectual  life  that  often  has  a  dual  character.  Ideas  which  they  may  con- 
sciously hold  or  re.iect  do  not  always  seriously  affect  their  field  of  work  where, 
operating  like  a  scientist  upon  specific  material,  they  sometimes  handle  an  aspect 
of  human  experience  with  passionate  honesty  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  very 
implications  of  what  they  are  writing  may  contradict  ideas  they  consciously  hold. 
For  instance,  in  sections  of  Grapes  of  Wrath  John  Steinbeck  writes  a  veritable 
poem  to  revolution.  Yet  we  would  be  making  an  error  to  draw  conclusions  from 
this  about  Steinbeck's  personal  philosophy  or  to  be  surprised  when  he  writes  Can- 
nery Kow  with  its  mystic  paean  to  Bohemianism.  Similarly  we  can  point  to  John 
Galsworthy,  a  successful,  wealthy,  middle-class  Englishman.  As  a  thinker,  Gals- 
worthy may  not  have  understood  the  meaning  of  the  plirase  "class  justice."  But 
as  an  artist,  honestly  and  earnestly  recreating  what  he  saw  in  English  society,  be 
wrote  two  plays,  the  Silver  Box  and  Justice,  which  gave  a  searing  portrait  of  class 
justice  in  human  terms,  and  which  no  socially  conscious,  theoretically  sagacious, 
left-wing  writer  of  today  has  come  within  200  miles  of  equaling. 

Unless  this  is  understood,  the  critics  on  the  left  will  not  be  able  to  deal  with  the 
literary  work  of  their  time.  Writers  must  be  .judged  by  their  work  and  not  by  the 
committees  they  join.  It  is  the  job  of  the  editorial  section  of  a  magazine  to  praise 
or  attack  citizens'  committees  for  what  they  stand  lor.  It  is  the  job  of  the  literary 
critics  to  praise  the  literary  works  only. 

The  best  case  in  point,  although  there  are  many,  is  James  T.  Farrell.  Farrell 
is,  in  my  opinion — and  I  have  thought  so  ever  since  reading  S'tuds  Lonigan  over 
10  years  ago — one  of  the  outstanding  writers  in  America.  I  have  not  liked  all 
of  his  work  equally,  and  I  don't  like  the  committees  he  belongs  to.  But  he  wrote 
a  superb  trilogy  and  more  than  a  few  short  stories  of  great  quality,  and  he  is  not 
through  writing  yet.  Studs  Lonigan  endures  and  is  read  by  increasing  numbers. 
It  will  endure,  in  my  opinion,  and  deserves  to.  But  if,  in  my  opinion,  Farrell  is 
to  be  judged  solely  by  his  personality  or  his  political  position,  then  the  New 
Masses  is  left  in  the  position  of  either  ignoring  his  work  or  attacking  it.  Let's 
face  it.  Isn't  this  exactly  what  has  happened?  Farrell's  name  was  a  bright 
penant  in  the  New  Masses  until  he  became  hostile  to  the  New  Masses.  Very  well ; 
for  his  deeds  or  misdeeds  as  a  citizen,  let  him  be  editorially  appraised.  But 
his  literary  work  cannot  be  ignored,  and  must  not  be  ignored.  And,  if  Engels 
gave  high  praise  to  the  literary  work  of  Balzac,  despite  his  truly  vicious  political 
position,  is  not  this  a  guide  to  the  New  Masses'  critics  in  estimating  the  literary 
woi'k  of  a  whole  host  of  varied  writers — Fari-ell,  Richard  Wright,  someone  else 
tomori'ow?  What  is  basic  to  all  und'-rstanding  is  this:  There  is  not  always  a 
commanding  relationship  between  the  way  an  artist  votes  and  any  particular 
work  he  writes.  Sometimes  there  is,  depending  upon  his  choice  of  material  and 
tlie  degree  to  which  he  consciously  advances  political  concepts  in  his  work. 
(Koestler,  for  instance,  always  writes  with  a  political  purpose  so  organic  to  his 
work  that  it  affects  his  rendering  of  character,  theme,  etc.  He  must  be  judged 
accordingly.)     But  there  is  no  inevitable,  consistent  connection. 

Furthermore,  most  writers  of  stature  have  given  us. great  works  in  .spite  of 
philo.sophic  weaknesses  in  their  works.  Doestoyevsky,  Tolstoy,  and  Thomas 
Wolfe  are  among  many  examples.  All  too  often  narrow  critics  recognize  this 
fact  in  dealing  with  dead  writers,  but  are  too  inflexible  to  accept  it  in  living 
writers.  As  a  result  it  has  been  an  accepted  assumption  in  much  of  left-wing 
literary  thought  that  a  writer  who  repudiates  a  progressive  political  position — • 
leaves  the  intellectual  orbit  of  New  Masses,  let  us  say — must  go  down  hill  as 
a  creative  writer.  But  this  is  simply  not  true  to  sober  fact,  however  true  it  may 
be  in  individual  cases.  Actually  it  is  impossible  to  predict  the  literary  future 
of  Richard  Wright  at  this  m^)ment.  At  this  moment  he  takes  political  posi- 
tions which  seem  to  many  to  be  fraught  with  danger  for  his  own  people.  He 
may  continue  to  do  so.  But  Black  Boy,  whatever  its  shortcomings,  is  not  the 
work  of  an  artist  who  has  gone  down  hill.  It  is  to  the  credit  of  the  New  Masses 
that  it  recognized  this  in  dealing  with  the  book.  Equally,  it  is  impossible  to 
predict  now  the  future  literary  achievements  or  failure  of  James  Farrell,  of 


156  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Kenneth  FenrinK.  of  Lilliain  Smith,  as  it  is  of  Van  Tillbnrg  Clark,  of  Howard 
Fast,  of  Ariiohl  Manoff,  of  Michael  r.lankfort.  Books  must  he  \A'eijihe(l  like  new 
coins — in  terms  of  what  they  are.  No  other  standai'd  is  valid.  Writing'  is  a 
complex  process,  and  the  sources  of  creative  inspiration,  out  of  which  an  arti.st 
works,  are  exceed injily  complex.  Thei-e  are  many,  many  reasons  why  writers 
grow  and  .sometimes  i-etrogress.  The  political  convictions  of  a  writer,  or  his  lack 
of  political  convictions,  may  have  something  to  do  with  his  growth  or  creative 
decline,  and  certainly  will  if  he  writes  highly  ])<)liticalized  novels  (Koestler). 
But  they  don't  always  have  to  do  with  it  (Marquand — Steinbeck),  and  any  as- 
sumption that  as  a  writer's  polities  do,  so  inevitably  does  his  art  go — forward 
or  backward — is  tlie  assumption  of  naivete. 

I  have  discussed  a  number  of  the  general  evils  which  seem  to  me  to  flow  from 
the  vulgarization  and  one-sided  application  of  the  doctrine,  "Art  is  a  weapon." 
I'd  like  now  to  examine  its  specific  elTect  upon  creative  writing. 

A  creative  writer,  accepting  the  esthetic  standards  I  have  described,  alnn»st 
inevitably  begins  to  narrow  his  approach  to  rhe  rich  o[)portunities  of  his  art.  He 
works  intellectually  in  an  atmosphere  in  which  the  critics,  the  audience,  the 
friends  he  respects,  while  revering  art,  actually  judge  works  <m  the  basis  of  their 
immediate  political  utility.  It  is,  moreover,  an  urgent  social  atmosphere,  one  of 
constant  political  crises.  Almost  inevitably,  the  earnest  writer,  concerned  about 
his  fellow  man,  aware  of  the  social  crisis,  begins  to  tbiidj  of  his  work  as  oidy 
another  form  of  leaflet  writing.  Perhaps  he  comes  to  no  such  conscious  conclu- 
sions. But  he  does  so  in  effect,  and  he  begins  to  use  his  talent  f<n-  an  innnediate 
political  end.  If  the  end  is  good,  it  would  be  absurd  to  say  that  this  may  not  be 
socially  useful.  It  would  also  be  hiiihly  inaccurate  to  maintain  that  from  an 
approach  like  this  no  art  can  result.  On  the  other  hand,  I  believe  that  the  failure 
of  much  left-wing  talent  to  mature  is  a  comment  on  how  restricting  this  canon  is 
for  the  creator  in  practice. 

The  reason  for  this  does  not  come  primarily  from  the  fact  that  works  written 
for  the  moment  are  of  interest  only  for  the  moment.  Sometimes,  as  I  iK)inted  out 
earlier,  they  prove  to  have  enduring  interest  also.  It  goes  deei)er — into  the  way  a 
writer  views  bis  task,  into  the  way  he  views  people  and  events.  The  opportunity 
of  the  artist  is  conditioned  by  the  nature  of  art  itself.  We  read  textbooks  for 
facts,  theories,  information.  Bur  we  read  novels,  or  go  to  the  theater,  for  a 
different  purpose.  The  artist,  by  the  nature  of  his  craft,  is  able  to  show  us  people 
in  motion.  This  is  why  we  revere  good  writers.  They  let  us  observe  the  individual 
richly — a  complex  creature  of  manifold  dreams,  desires,  disappointments— in  his 
relation  to  other  individuals  and  to  his  society. 

The  artist  is  most  successful  who  most  profoundly  and  accurately  reveals  his 
characters,  with  all  their  motivations  clearly  delineated. 

But  the  writer  who  works  to  serve  an  innnediate  political  pnrpo.se — whose 
desii'e  it  is  to  win  friends  for  some  political  action  or  point  of  view — has  set  him- 
self the  task  not  primarily  of  revealing  men  and  society  as  they  are — the  social 
novelist — but  rather  of  winning  a  point — the  political  novelist.  I  am  not  saying 
that  an  artist  should  be  without  a  point  of  view — does  not  inevitably  guide  his 
selection  of  materials,  characters,  etc. — or  that  any  book,  profoundly  written,  will 
be  without  political  implications— the  Brothers  Karamazov.  But  there  is  a 
difference  between  possessing  a  philosophic  point  of  view,  which  permeates  one's 
work — the  social  novelist — and  having  a  tactical  ax  to  grind  which  usually  re- 
quires the  artificial  manipulation  of  character  and  usually  results  in  shallow 
writing — the  political  novelist  or  political  propagandist  working  in  the  novel. 

One  can  gain  a  useful  lesson  by  examining  ".Vnd  (}nit't  Flows  the  Don."  The 
central  figure.  Gregor.  is  a  man  who  ends  ui»  as  the  political  enemy  of  the  Soviet 
revolution.  I  have  always  remembered  a  brilliant  scene  in  the  book:  Gregor, 
who  had  fought  with  the  Reds  in  the  Civil  War  and  then  gone  over  to  the  Whites, 
returns  to  his  village.  He  wants  no  more  of  fighting  or  politics.  He  asks  only 
to  live  quietly  as  a  farmer.  But  he  is  not  allowed  to  remain  at  peace.  Retribu- 
tion, in  the  form  of  a  Connnunist,  catches  up  with  him.  The  Communist  comes 
to  his  house,  listens  to  Gregor's  earnest  plea  to  be  left  alone  and  replies,  with 
passion,  "No,  we  will  not  leave  y<m  alone:  we  will  hound  you." 

One  cannot  read  this  scene  without  sympathizing  with  Gregor  and  yearning 
for  the  Connnunist  to  be  more  tolerant.  Yet — one  understands  both  men.  Their 
characters,  history  and  motivations  have  been  clearly  presented.  The  positi(m 
each  takes  is  inevitable.  The  sympathetic  insight  into  Gregor,  the  humanity  of 
his  ijresentation,  does  not,  however,  corrupt  the  historical  point  of  view  in  the 
look.    Rather,  it  deepens  it. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  157 

The  social  illumination  of  this  novel  and  its  political  meaning  would  not  be 
possible  with  a  different  handling  of  Gregor.  This  is  so  because  profound 
characterization  presents  all  charactei's  from  their  own  point  of  view,  allowing 
them  their  own  full,  human  .iustification  for  their  behavior  and  attitudes,  yet 
allowing  the  reader  to  judge  tlieir  objective  behavior.  This  is  the  special  wisdom 
art  can  offer  us.  But  if  Sholokhov  had  had  a  narrow  political  ax  to  grind,  he 
would  not  have  allowed  Gregor  his  humanity,  he  would  have  wanted  only  to  make 
the  reader  hate  him,  and  so  the  breath  of  life  would  have  gone  from  the  book.  It 
would  have  been  weaker  socially,  psychologically,  artistically,  and  politically. 

The  i)itfall  of  the  socially  conscious  writer  who  uses  his  art  in  a  shallow  manner 
is  that  his  goal  all  too  often  subtly  demands  the  anniliiliation  of  certain  char- 
acters, the  gilding  of  others.  It  is  very,  very  difficult  for  him  not  to  handle 
characters  in  black  and  white  since  his  objective  is  to  prove  a  proposition,  not  to 
reveal  men  in  motion  as  they  are. 

Consequently,  it  is  more  than  likely  that  he  will  "angle"  character  and  events 
to  achieve  his  point.  He  may  not  wish  to  do  this.  But  he  is  led  to  it  by  his 
goal — led  into  idealistic  conceptions  of  character,  led  into  wearing  rose-colored 
glasses  which  will  permit  him  to  see  in  life  that  which  he  wishes  to  find  in  order  to 
prove  his  thesis,  led  into  the  portrayal  of  life,  not  as  it  is,  but  as  he  would  like 
it  to  be.  And  this  is  not  only  inferior  art,  but  shallow  politics  as  well.  He 
becomes  the  author  of  what  Engels  called  "pinchpenny"  socialist  novels.  This 
is  why  "the  conflict  of  conscience,"  of  which  Schneider  spoke,  has  resulted  so 
often  in  schematic  writing  or  wasted  writing  and,  in  not  a  few  instances,  in  a 
book  or  a  play  which  must  be  discharged  when  a  change  of  newspaper  headlines 

OCCUl'S. 

This  latter  calamity  is  the  very  symbol  of  the  pitfall  dug  for  the  artist  by  his 
own  narrow  approach  to  his  art.  I  know  of  at  least  a  dozen  plays  and  novels 
discarded  in  the  process  of  writing  because  the  political  scene  altered.  Obviously, 
the  authors  in  question  were  not  primarily  bent  upon  portraying  abiding  truths, 
either  of  character  or  the  social  scene,  but  were  mainly  concerned  with  advancing 
a  political  tactic  through  the  manipulation  of  character.  Otherwise,  a  new  head- 
line in  the  newspapers  would  not  have  made  them  discard  their  work.  I  even 
know  a  historian  who  read  Duclos  and  announced  that  he  would  have  to  revise 
completely  the  book  he  was  engaged  upon.  But  what  type  of  history  was  this  in 
the  first  place? 

I  am  convinced  that  the  work-in-progress  of  an  artist  who  is  deeply,  truly, 
honestly  recreating  a  sector  of  human  experience  need  not  be  affected  by  a  change 
in  the  political  weather.  A  journalist's  work,  on  the  other  hand,  usually  is  af- 
fected. This  is  not  an  invidious  judgment  on  the  journalist.  It  is  merely  the 
difference  between  journalism  and  art.  When  the  artist  misuses  his  art,  when 
he  practices  journalism  instead  of  art,  however  decent  his  purposes,  the  result 
is  neither  the  best  journalism,  nor  the  best  art,  nor  the  best  politics. 

The  great  humanistic  tradition  of  culture  has  always  been  on  the  side  of  prog- 
ress. The  writer  who  works  within  this  tradition — -offering  his  personal  con- 
tribution to  it — is  writing  a  political  work  in  the  broadest  meaning  of  the  term. 
It  is  not  also  incumbent  upon  him  that  he  relate  his  broad  philosophic  or  emo- 
tional humanism  to  a  current  and  transient  political  tactic. 

He  may  do  so  if  he  wishes.  That  is  up  to  him.  But  if  he  does,  he  must  i*e- 
member  that,  wliere  art  is  a  weapon,  it  is  only  so  when  it  is  art.  Those  artists  who 
work  within  a  vulgarized  approach  to  art  do  so  at  great  peril  to  their  own  work 
and  to  the  very  purposes  they  seek  to  serve. 


Change  the  World 

By  Mike  Gold 

(Daily  Worker,  February  12,  1946) 

Albert  Maltz,  who  wrote  some  powerful  political  and  proletarian  novels  in  the 
past,  seems  about  ready  to  repudiate  that  past,  and  to  be  preparing  for  a  retreat 
into  the  stale  old  ivory  tower  of  the  art-for-art-sakers. 

If  you  can  extract  any  other  message  out  of  his  piece  in  the  current  New 
Masses,  you  are  a  better  mind  reader  than  this  columnist. 

His  thesis  is  the  familiar  one,  viz:  that  much  "wasted  writing  and  bad  art 
has,"  for  the  past  15  years,  "been  induced  in  American  writers  by  the  intellectual 

67683 — 47 11 


158  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

atmosphere  of  the  left  wins"  and  that  this  bad  influence  has  its  central  source  iu 
our  vulgarized  slogan  :  "Art  is  a  weapon." 

''It  has  been  understood  to  mean  that  unless  art  is  a  weapon  like  a  leaflet,  serv- 
ing immediate  political  ends,  necessities,  and  programs,  it  is  worthless  or  escapist 
or  vicious,"  he  saj's. 

Another  cliarge  is  we  tend  to  judge  works  of  art  solely  from  the  standpoinjt  of 
the  politics  of  the  author. 

''Writers  must  be  judged  by  their  work  and  not  by  the  committees  they  join." 

As  an  example  of  our  "narrow  and  vulgar"  tendency,  Albert  says:  "The  best 
case  in  point — although  there  are  many — is  James  T.  Farrell  *  *  *  one  of  the 
outstanding  writers  of  America.  I  have  not  liked  all  of  his  work  equally,  and  I 
don't  like  tlie  committees  he  belongs  to.  But  he  wrote  a  superb  trilogy  and  more 
than  a  few  short  stories  of  great  quality,  and  he  is  not  through  writing, 
yet     *     *     *." 

There's  a  lot  more  of  such  theorizing,  but  I  believe  I  have  given  a  fair  sample 
of  the  whole. 

It  has  the  familiar  smell.  I  remember  hearing  all  this  sort  of  artistic  moraliz- 
ing bffore.  The  criticism  of  James  T.  Farrell,  Max  Eastman,  Granville  Hicks, 
and  other  renegades  always  attacked  the  same  literary  "sins  of  the  Communists," 
and  even  quoted  Lenin,  Engels,  and  Marx  to  profusion. 

One  can  refuse  to  answer  Maltz  on  esthetic  grounds,  however.  The  fact  re- 
mains that  for  15  years,  while  Maltz  was  in  the  Communist  literary  movement, 
he  managed  to  escape  with  his  talents  and  get  his  novels  written. 

This  Communist  literary  movement  in  the  United  States  was  the  school  that 
nurtured  an  Albert  Maltz  and  gave  him  a  philosophic  basis.  It  gave  him  his  only 
inspiration  up  to  date.  It  also  inspired  and  created  a  Richard  Wright,  who  was 
born  and  reared  in  a  humble  John  Reed  club. 

The  best  American  writers  of  the  past  15  years  received  their  inspiration,  their 
stock  of  ideas,  from  their  contact,  however  brief  or  ungrateful,  with  the  left-wing 
working  class  and  this  marxist  philosophy. 

*  *  *  *  «  •  * 

Maltz's  coy  reference  to  the  "political  committees"  on  which  James  Farrell 
serves  is  a  bad  sign.  Farrell  is  no  mere  little  committee  server,  but  a  vicious, 
voluble  Trotzkyite  with  many  years  of  activity.  Maltz  knows  that  Farrell  has 
long  been  a  colleague  of  Max  Eastman,  Eugene  Lyons,  and  similar  rats  who  have 
been  campaigning  with  endless  lies  and  slanders  for  war  on  the  Soviet  Union. 

It  is  a  sign  on  Maltz's  new  personality  that  he  hadn't  the  honesty  to  name  Far- 
rell's  Ti'otzkyism  for  what  it  is;  but  to  pass  it  off  as  a  mere  peccaddillo.  By  such 
reasoning,  Nazi  rats  like  Ezra  Pound  and  Knut  Hansum,  both  superior  writers 
to  Farrell,  must  also  be  treated  respectfully  and  even  forgiven  for  their  horrible 
politics  because  they  are  "artists." 

There  is  a  lot  more  one  could  say,  and  maybe  I'll  say  it  in  a  later  column. 
Meanwhile,  let  me  express  my  sorrow  that  Albert  Maltz  seems  to  have  let  the 
luxury  and  phony  atmo.sphere  of  Hollywood  at  last  to  poison  him. 

It  has  to  be  constantly  resisted  or  a  writer  loses  his  soul.  Albert's  soul  was 
strong  when  it  touched  Mother  Earth — -the  American  working  class.  Now  he  is- 
embracing  absti-actions  that  will  lead  him  nowhere. 

We  are  entering  the  gi'eatest  crisis  of  American  history.  The  capitalists  are 
plotting  (and  the  big  strikes  are  a  first  sample)  to  establish  an  American  fascism 
as  a  prelude  to  an  American  conquest  of  the  world. 

Literary  evasions  of  this  reality  can  afford  no  inspiration  to  the  young  soldiers- 
and  trade-unionists,  the  Negroes,  and  all  tlie  rest  of  toiling  humanity  who  must 
fight.  The  ivory  tower  may  produce  a  little  piece  of  art  now  and  then,  but  it 
can  never  serve  the  writer  who  means  to  fight  and  destroy  the  Hitlers  of  this 
world. 

Moving  Forward 

By  Albert  Maltz 

(The  Worker,  April  7,  1946) 

We  live  in  a  period  of  social  convulsion  greater  than  the  world  has  ever  seen. 
Poverty,  depression,  colonial  enslavement,  racism,  war,  political  conspiracy, 
mass  murder — these  are  the  problems  with  which  humanity  must  deal.  In  this 
world  of  acute  struggle,  writers,  like  everyone  else,  live  and  work.  Since  the 
nature  of  their  work  is  such  that  it  is  capable  of  influencing  the  thoughts,  emo- 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY  159 

tions,  and  actions  of  others,  it  is  right  and  good  that  the  world  should  hold  them 
responsible  for  what  thoy  write,  and  that  they  should  hold  themselves  responsible. 

I  have  believed  this  for  quite  some  years  now.  I  have  also  believed  that  in 
our  time  Marxism  can  be  the  bread  of  life  to  a  serious  writer.  With  these  con- 
victions, I  published  an  article  in  the  New  Masses  some  weeks  ago  which  was 
greeted  by  severe  criticism.  The  sum  total  of  this  criticism  was  that  my  article 
was  not  a  contribution  to  the  development  of  the  working  cultural  movement,  but 
that  its  fundamental  ideas,  on  the  contrary,  would  lead  to  the  paralysis  and 
liquidation  of  left-wing  culture. 

Now  these  are  serious  charges,  and  were  not  rendered  lightly,  nor  taken  lightly 
by  me.  Indeed  the  seriousness  of  the  discussion  flows  from  the  fact  that  my 
article  was  not  published  in  the  Social  Democratic  New  Leader  (which,  to  my 
humiliation,  has  since  commented  on  it  with  wolfish  approval),  but  that  it  was 
published  in  the  New  Masses. 

In  the  face  of  these  criticisms,  I  have  been  spending  the  intervening  weeks  in 
serious  thought.  I  have  had  to  ask  myself  a  number  of  questions:  Were  the 
criticisms  of  my  article  sound?  If  so,  by  what  process  of  thought  had  I,  despite 
earnest  intentions,  come  to  write  the  article  in  the  terms  I  didV 

Intimately  connected  with  these  personal  questions  were  broader  matters  de- 
manding inquiry  by  others  as  well  as  by  myself.  If  the  criticisms  of  my  article 
were  sound,  why  was  it  that  a  number  of  friends  who  read  the  manuscript  prior 
to  publication  and  whose  convictions  are  akin  to  mine  had  not  come  to  such 
severe  conclusions?  And  why  was  it  that  the.New  Masses  accepted  the  article 
without  comment  to  me,  indeed  with  only  a  note  of  approval  from  the  literary 
editor?  And  why  was  it  that  even  after  the  criticisms  of  my  article  appeared, 
I  daily  received  letters  which  protested  the  "ton"  of  the  criticisms  of  me,  but 
considered  that  at  worst  I  only  had  fallen  into  a  few  "unfortunate"  formula- 
tions? 

I  have  come  to  quite  a  number  of  conclusions  about  these  questions.  And  if  I 
discuss  the  process  of  my  arriving  at  them  with  some  intimacy,  I  hope  the  reader 
will  bear  with  me,  since  I  know  no  other  way  of  dealing  honestly  with  the  prob- 
lem involved.  I  particularly  invite  those  who  have  written  me  letters  of  approval 
to  consider  whether  some  of  the  remarks  I  have  to  make  about  myself  may  not 
be  also  appropriate  to  them, 

II 

I  consider  now  that  my  article — by  what  I  have  come  to  agree  was  a  one-sided, 
nondialectical  treatment  of  complex  issues — could  not,  as  I  had  hoped,  contribute 
to  the  development  of  left-wing  criticism  and  creative  writing.  I  believe  also 
that  my  critics  were  entirely  correct  in  insisting  that  certain  fundamental  ideas 
in  my  article  would,  if  pursued  to  their  conclusion,  result  in  the  dissolution  of 
the  left-wing  cultural  movement. 

The  discussion  surrounding  my  article  has  made  me  aware  of  a  trend  in  my 
own  thinking,  and  in  the  thinking  of  at  least  some  others  in  the  left-wing  cul- 
tural movement,  namely,  a  tendency  to  abstract  errors  made  by  left  critics  from 
the  total  social  scene,  a  tendency  then  to  magnify  those  errors  and  to  concen- 
trate attention  upon  them  without  reference  to  a  balanced  view  of  the  many 
related  forces  which  bear  upon  left  culture,  and  hence  a  tendency  to  advance 
from  half-truths  to  total  error. 

Let  me  illustrate  this  point :  In  the  thirties,  as  there  seems  to  be  general  agree- 
ment, left-wing  criticism  was  not  always  conducted  on  the  deepest,  or  ruost  desir- 
able, or  most  useful  level.  Its  effectiveness  was  lowered  by  tendencies  toward 
doctrinaire  judgments  and  toward  a  mechanical  application  of  social  criticism. 
And  these  tendencies  must  be  understood  and  analyzed  if  working-class  culture 
is  to  advance  to  full  flower.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  the  inadequacies  of  criti- 
cism, such  as  they  were,  are  only  a  small  and  partial  aspect  of  the  left-wing 
cultural  movement  as  a  whole.  The  full  truth — as  I  have  been  aware  for  many 
years,  and  as  I  was  thoroughly  aware  even  when  writing  my  article,  is  this: 
From  the  left-wing  cultural  movement  in  America,  and  from  the  left  wing  inter- 
nationally, has  come  the  only  major,  healthy  imi)etus  to  an  honest  literature  and 
art  that  these  last  two  decades  have  provided.  Compound  the  errors  of  left  cul- 
tural thought  as  high  as  you  will— still  its  errors  are  small  as  compared  to  its 
useful  contribution,  are  tiny  as  compared  to  the  giant  liberating  and  construc- 
tive force  of  Marxist  ideas  upon  culture.  As  a  matter  of  sheer  fact  this  is  such 
a  self-evident  proposition  that  it  does  not  require  someone  of  my  conviction  to 
state  it ;  it  has  been  acknowledged  even  by  reactionary  critics  who,  naturally, 
have  then  gone  on  falsely  to  declare  that  the  liberating  force  of  left  culture  has 
run  its  course  and  expired. 


160  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

This  total  truth  about  the  h»ft  wing  is  tliorcforo  the  only  proper  foundation 
and  matrix  for  a  discussion  of  specific  errors  in  the  practice  of  social  criticism 
and  creative  writing.  It  was  in  the  omission  of  this  total  truth— in  taking  it 
for  granted — in  failing  to  record  the  host  of  writers  who  have  been,  and  are 
now,  nourished  by  the  ideas  and  aspirati(ms  of  the  left  wing — that  I  presented 
a  distorted  view  of  the  facts,  history  and  contribution  of  left-w^ng  culture  to 
American  life.  This  was  not  my  desire,  but  I  accept  it  as  the  objective  result. 
And,  at  the  same  time,  by  my  one-sided  zeal  in  attempting  to  correct  errors, 
and  so  forth,  I  wrote  an  article  that  opened  the  way  for  the  New  Leader  to  seize 
upon  my  comments  in  order  to  "support"  its  unprincipled  slanders  against  the 
left. 

Of  all  that  my  article  unwittingly  achieved,  this  is  the  most  difficult  pill  for 
me  to  swallow.  My  statements  are  now  being  offered  up  as  fresh  proof  of  the 
old  lie:  That  the  left  puts  artists  in  uniform.  But  it  is  a  pill  I  have  had  to 
swallow  and  that  I  now  want  to  dissolve. 

Who  and  what  keeps  artists  in  uniform?  In  our  society  uniforms  are  indeed 
fitted  for  artists  at  every  turn.  But  how?  By  a  system  of  education  which  in- 
structs a  whole  society  in  the  belief  that  the  status  quo  is  luialterable,  that  social 
inequality  is  normal,  that  race  prejudice  is  natural ;  by  a  social  order  which 
puts  writing  talent  at  the  disposal  of  Hearst  and  artistic  talent  at  the  disposal 
of  advertising  agencies ;  by  a  total  pressure  made  up  of  pressures  and  intellec- 
tual pressures  and  moral  pressures,  all  designed  to  harness  writers,  artists,  teach- 
ers, journalists,  scientists,  into  willing  or  confused  or  frightened  support  of  the 
established  order  in  society,  into  maintaining,  if  need  be,  capitalist  povei'ty,  crime, 
prostitution,  the  cycle  of  wars  and  depressions — into  maintaining  all  of  this  by 
their  talent.  This  the  way  in  which  artists,  unless  they  break  loose  in  con- 
scious and  organized  protest,  are  put  into  one  of  the  many,  elegantly  cut  uni- 
forms offered  them  by  our  kings  of  monopoly,  our  lords  of  the  press,  radio, 
and  so  forth. 

No ;  it  is  not  the  left  wing  that  is  guilty  of  this.  On  the  contrary,  the  left 
wing,  by  its  insistence  that  artists  must  be  free  to  speak  the  absolute  truth 
about  society,  by  the  intellectual  equipment  it  offers  in  Marxist  sqientiiic  thought, 
is  precisely  the  force  that  can  help  the  artist  strip  himself  of  the  many  uniforms 
into  which  he  has  been  stepping  since  birth. 

This  is  my  conviction,  and  it  has  been  my  conviction  for  years.  For  pre- 
cisely this  reason  it  high  lights  the  contradiction  between  my  intentions  in  writing 
my  article — and  its  result.  By  allowing  a  subjective  concentration  upon  problems 
met  in  my  own  writing  in  the  past  to  become  a  major  preoccupation,  I  produced 
an  article  distinguished  for  its  omissions,  and  succeeded  in  merging  my  com- 
ments with  the  unprincipled  attacks  upon  the  left  that  I  have  always  repudiated 
and  combated. 

And  this,  as  I  said  earlier,  is  the  process  by  which  one-sided  thinking  can  lead 
to  total  error — it  is  the  process  by  which  objects,  seen  in  a  distortion  mirror, 
can  be  recognized,  but  bear  no  relation  to  their  precise  features.  It  was  this, 
among  other  things,  that  my  critics  pointed  out  sharply.  For  that  criticism 
I  am  indebted.  Ideas  and  opinions  are  worth  holding  when  they  are  right, 
not  when  they  are  wrong.  The  effort  to  be  useful  involves  always  the  possibility 
of  being  wrong;  the  right  of  being  wrong,  however,  bears  with  it  the  moral 
obligation  to  analyze  errors  and  to  correct  them.    Anything  else  is  irresponsible. 

Ill 

The  second  major  criticism  of  the  thinking  in  my  article  revolved  about  a 
separation  between  art  and  ideology,  which  was  traced  in  varied  terms,  through 
a  number  of  illustrations  I  had  used  and  concepts  I  had  advanced.  I  suppose 
I  might  claim  here  that  it  was  merely  inept  formulation  on  my  part  which 
resulted  in  an  "impression"  that  I  was  separating  art  from  politics,  the  artist 
from  the  citizen,  etc.  But  in  the  course  of  reading  and  rereading  the  criti- 
cisms of  my  article  and  the  article  itself,  I  have  come  to  agi-ee  that  I  did  make 
the  separations  mentioned,  and  that  I  made  them  not  only  in  the  writing,  but 
in  my  thinking  on  the  specific  problems  I  was  discussing. 

Once  again,  this  is  the  result  of  a  one-sided,  nondialectical  approach.  Out  of 
a  desire  to  find  clear,  creative  paths  for  my  own  work  and  the  work  of  others. 
I  felt  it  necessary  to  combat  the  current  of  thought  that,  in  the  past,  has  tended 
to  establish  a  mechanical  relationship  between  ideology  and  art — a  tendency 
that  works  particular  harm  to  creative  writing  because  it  encourages  a  narrow, 
sloganized  literature  of  a  living  reflection  of  society.     However,  in  the  course  of 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  161 

this  "contribution,"  as  has  been  pointed  out,  I  severed  tlie  organic  connection 
between  art  and  ideology. 

Tills  is  not  a  small  matter,  but  a  serious  one.  For  if  the  progress  of  literature 
and  art  is  separate  from  thought,  if  the  ideas  of  a  writer  bear  no  intimate  rela- 
tionship to  the  work  he  produces,  then  even  Fascists  can  produce  good  art.  This  is 
not  oidy  contrary  to  historic  fact,  but  it  is  theoretically  absurd.  Good  art  has 
always,  and  wili  always,  come  from  writers  who  love  people,  who  ally  them- 
selves with  the  fate  of  the  people,  with  the  struggle  of  the  people  for  social 
advancement.  It  is  precisely  because  Fascists  must  hate  people  that  12  years 
of  Nazi  Germany  produced  not  one  piece  of  art  in  any  field.  It  is  for  this  reason 
that  a  writer  like  Celine,  the  Frenchman,  who  began  with  a  talented  work  of 
protest,  but  who  found  no  constructive  philosophy  for  his  protest,  ended  in  cor- 
rupt cynicism,  in  hatred  of  people,  in  the  artistic  sterility  of  the  Fascist.  It  is 
for  the  same  reason  that  the  talent  of  American  writers  like  Farrell  and  Dos 
Passes  has  not  matured  but  has,  on  the  conti-ary,  gone  into  swift  down-grade 
into  slie'^r  dullness  as  well  as  the  purveying  of  untruth. 

Here  I  want  to  interrupt  for  a  word  of  comment  on  Farrell.  I  agree  now  that 
my  characterization  of  him  was  deckledly  lax,  and  that  it  was  the  inadvertent, 
but  inevitable,  result  of  the  line  of  thinking  in  my  article  that  separated  art  from 
ideology  and  politics.  I  want  to  make  clear,  however,  that  while  "a  mild  attitude 
toward  Trotzkyites"  was  apparently  the  net  effect  upon  readers  of  my  com- 
ments, it  was  not  at  all  what  I  had  in  mind,  and  it  decidedly  does  not  reflect  my 
opinions.  Actually  if  I  had  been  attempting  a  thoroiigh  examination  of  Farrell, 
there  would  have  been  much  more  to  say — and  I  want  to  say  some  of  it  now. 

Farrell's  history  and  work  are  the  best  example  I  know  of  the  manner  in  which 
a  poisoned  ideology  and  an  increasingly  sick  soul  can  sap  the  talent  and  wreck 
the  living  fiber  of  a  mans'  work.  This  has  been  clear  for  quite  some  time  now; 
his  literary  work  has  become  weak,  dull,  repetitious.  But  precisely  because  this 
is  so,  and  because  his  one  outstanding  work,  Studs  Lonigan,  which  ranks  high 
among  contemporary  American  novels — deservedly,  I  believe — was  written  be- 
fore he  became  a  Trotzkyite,  it  is  essential  to  trace  dialectically  in  his  work — 
as  in  the  work  of  others  like  him — the  process  of  artistic  decay.  It  was  not  some- 
thing I  was  "cheering"  abovTt,  but  it  is  soraething  to  reckon  with  as  sheer  fact 
that  Farrell,  Wright,  Dos  Passes,  Koestler,  etc.,  are  "not  thi'ough  writing  yet," 
that  they  are  going  to  produce  other  books.  If  no  one  in  America  read  these 
authors,  one  could  settle  by  ignoring  them.  But  this  is  not  the  case ;  they  are 
widely  read.  As  I  see  it,  the  effective  manner  of  dealing  with  their  work  is  not 
to  be  content  merely  with  contemptuous  references ;  this  will  not  satisfy  those 
wlio.  ignorant  of  their  political  roles,  know  only  their  novels. 

What  is  needed  is  profound  analysis  of  this  method  and  logic  by  which  their 
anti-Soviet,  antipeople,  antllabor  attitudes  enter  their  work,  pervert  their 
talents,  turn  them  into  tools  and  agents  of  reaction.  Only  in  this  manner  can 
other  writers  be  made  to  see  clearly  the  artistic  consequences  of  political  cor- 
ruption:  only  in  this  manner  can  the  struggle  for  a  mass  audience  be  conducted 
in  a  truly  persuasive  and  mature  manner. 

At  this  point  I  should  like  to  ask  a  question  particularly  of  those  who  I'ead  my 
earlier  article  with  approval,  or  with  only  sketchy  criticism :  What  is  the  sum  of 
what  I  have  been  saying  up  until  now? 

It  seems  clear  to  me,  as  I  hope  it  is  already  clear  to  them,  that  I  have  been 
discussing  and  illustrating  revisionism,  and  that  my  article,  as  pointed  out  by 
others,  was  a  specific  example  of  revisionist  thinking  in  the  cultural  field. 

For  what  is  revisionism?  It  is  distorted  Marxism,  turning  half-truths  into 
total  untruths,  splitting  ideology  from  its  class  base,  denying  the  existence  of 
class  struggles  in  society,  converting  jNIarxism  from  a  science  of  society  and 
struggle  into  apologetics  for  monopoly  exploitation.  In  terms  of  my  article  I 
think  the  clearest  summation  was  given  by  S'amuel  S'illen  in  the  Daily  Worker : 

"A  hasty  reading  of  the  article  may  give  the  impi-ession  that  it  merely  offers 
suggestions  for  correcting  admitted  defects  of  the  literary  left.  But  a  deeper 
study  of  the  article  reveals  that  the.^e  suggestions,  some  of  which  might  be 
valuable  in  another  context,  are  here  bound  up  with  a  line  of  thinking  that  would 
lead  us  to  shatter  the  very  foundation  of  the  literary  left,  Marxism.  This  is 
(he  main  issue.     On  this  issue  we  must  have  utmost  clarity. 

"While  INIaltz  seems  to  believe  that  he  is  merely  criticizing  a  'vulgarized  ap- 
proach' to  literature,  he  is  in  reality  undermining  a  class  approach.    While 


162  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

appparins  to  challonge  an  over-simplified  identity  between  art  and  politics,  he 
severs  their  organic  relationship  in  our  epoch.  In  repudiating  the  'accepted 
understanding'  of  art  as  a  weapon,  Maltz  whittles  down  the  concept  itself  to  a 
point  approaching  nonexistence.  In  centering  his  fire  on  the  'literary  atmos- 
phere of  the  left,'  he  ignoi-es  the  basic  problem  of  an  honest  writer  in  capitalist 
society,  the  'literary  atmosphere  of  the  right.' 

"The  article  cannot  be  viewed  simply  as  a  challenge  to  mechanical  application 
of  fundamental  truths.  The  truths  themselves  are  crushed  under  the  structure 
of  IMaltz's  reasoning.  *  *  *  What  is  the  main  problem  of  the  literary  left 
today?  It  is  to  reestablish  its  Marxist  base.  In  the  past  few  years  that  base 
has  been  sapped  by  revisionism." 

I  believe  that  Sillen's  summation  is  correct.  The  pi'ocess  he  describes  here  is 
a  revisionist  process;  it  is  the  residt  of  a  failure  to  deeply  break  with  old  habits 
of  thought.  This  failure  was,  I  believe,  at  the  core  of  the  main  tendencies  in 
my  article  and  it  was  the  key  to  its  uncritical  acceptance  by  more  than  a  few 
in  the  cultural  field,  both  before  and  after  publication.  The  intense,  ardent, 
and  sharp  discussion  around  my  article,  therefore,  seems  to  me  have  been  a 
healthy  and  necessary  one — and  to  have  laid  the  foundation  whereby  a  new 
clarity  can  be  achieved,  a  new  consciousness  forged,  and  a  struggle  undertaken 
to  return,  deeply,  to  sound  Marxist  principles.  For  it  is  essential  that  everyone, 
who  appreciates  that  a  healthy  culture  must  be  based  on  the  needs  of  the  people 
and  the  needs  of  the  working  class,  appreciate  also  that  Browderism  could  not 
lead  to  such  a  culture.  A  literature  that  would  be  uncritical  of  monopoly  capital 
and  its  effect  upon  human  lives,  indeed  a  literature  based  on  the  concept  that 
monopoly  capital  can  serve  the  American  people  progressively — such  a  literature 
would  be  wholly  out  of  step  with  life.  It  could  not  represent  the  facts  of  life. 
Creative  writers  who  approached  life  with  this  philosophy  would  have  to  avoid 
realistic,  honest  writing.  However  much  they  might  feel  ardent  sympathy  for 
the  people,  they  would  be  forced  into  the  position  of  ignoring  reality — and  hence 
their  actual  work  would  finally  become  indistinguishable  from  the  empty  litera- 
ture to  be  found  in  the  popular  magazines. 

This,  with  all  of  its  implications,  is  the  reason  why  a  serious  and  sharp  dis- 
cussion was  required  of  the  ideas  developed  in  my  article. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

]Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  McGuinness,  Mr.  Nixon  developed  a  very  good 
point  there.  My  thought  is  this :  Ninety-nine  and  nine-tenths  percent 
of  the  customers  of  the  industry  go  to  the  movies  to  be  entertained. 
They  don't  go  to  learn  something  particularly.  They  go  to  be  enter- 
tained. The  term  has  been  nsed  here  a  number  of  times  by  various 
folks,  both  on  and  off  the  committee,  "making  anti-Comnmnist  pic- 
tures." I  think  that  is  a  poor  term.  I  think  I  am  on  solid  ground 
in  saying  that  the  committee  isn't  urging  you  to  make  any  kind  of 
pictures,  that  that  is  a  matter  for  the  motion-picture  producers  to 
determine.  Our  thought  in  the  matter  would  be  that  your  writers 
confine  themselves  when  they  delve  into  political  matters  and  histori- 
cal matters  to  the  truth,  and  not  to  make  anything  anti  or  pro.  I  be- 
lieve the  American  public  would  appreciate  that,  too. 

Would  you  agree  that  that  should  be  the  situation? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  Mr.  McDowell,  if  you  will  permit  me,  I  believe 
that  the  screen  has  prospered  by  being  basically  a  form  of  entertain- 
ment. I  believe  that  the  screen  is  an  awkward  medium  for  political 
debate,  for  this  reason :  The  presentation  of  any  one  political  view- 
point on  the  screen  and  its  appearance,  setting  a  date  for  that,  would 
I'equire  at  least  18  months — to  find  the  story,  to  have  it  written,  to  have 
a  test,  acted  on,  cut,  scored,  previewed,  and  then  manufactured  and 
distributed.  Eeighteen  months  would  be  a  minimum,  before  anybody 
could  enter  a  rebuttal. 

I  am  opposed  to  any  form  of  censorship  of  the  screen.  I  think  the 
screen  should  be  free  to  say  anything  it  wants  to  say.  But  I  think 
what  it  says  should  be  labeled  openly  for  what  it  is.    If  it  is  a  political 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY  163 

picture  and  it  expresses  one  viewpoint,  I  think  the  screen  has  an  obli- 
gation to  present  the  other.  Personally,  I  would  rather  that  we  con- 
fined ourselves  to  drama  and  entertainment. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Well,  that  is  a  first-class  answer.  It  appears  to 
me  that  the  motion-picture  industry  has  been  doing  that,  that  your 
fight  has  largely  been  to  keep  doing  it,  and  I  hope  you  continue  keep 
doing  it. 

Mv.  McGuiNNESS.  We  will. 

Tlie  Charmain.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  McGuinness,  you  probably  are  aware  of  the  fact  that 
this  committee  has  had  before  it  several  resolutions  presented  by  vari- 
ous Congressmen  providing  for  legislation  to  outlaw  communism. 
What  is  your  feeling  with  respect  to  such  legislation? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  that  the  outlawing  of  a  political  belief 
serves  no  purpose.  I  don't  think  a  law  ever  overcomes  an  idea.  But  I 
do  believe  that  if  the  Communist  Party  can  be  demonstrated  on  suffi- 
cient evidence  to  the  Congress  to  be  the  agent  of  a  foreign  power,  then 
it  is  obligatory  to  defend  the  sovereignty  and  the  freedoms  of  the 
United  States  by  recognizing  it  as  such  and  outlawing  it  for  that  reason. 

Mr.  Vail.  Well,  in  various  hearings  before  this  committee  the 
opinion  has  been  advanced  by  such  authorities  as  J.  Edgar  Hoover 
that  the  Communist  Party  is  very  definitely  an  agent  of  the  Soviet 
Government.  If  it  was  definitely  established  that  that  was  a  fact,  then 
it  would  be  your  feeling  that  the  enactment  of  such  legislation  would 
be  in  order? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  think  it  would  be  vital.    I  am  all  in  favor  of  it. 

Mr.  Vail.   Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.   Mr.  Stripling,  do  you  have  any  questions  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes.  Mr.  McGuinness,  in  connection  with  the  sup- 
pression of  fihns,  could  you  tell  the  committee  whether  or  not  a  few 
years  ago  the  Communists  conducted  a  campaign  to  keep  a  picture  on 
the  life  of  Eddie  Rickenbacker  from  being  produced? 

Mr.  McGuinness.  I  believe  that  an  effort  was  made  at  that  time  to 
keep  that  picture  from  being  made.    It  was,  however,  unsuccessful. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  all  I  have,  ]\Ir.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  McGuinness.  You  have 
been  a  very  splendid  witness.^" 

Mv.  ]\IcGuiNNESS.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Thomas. 

The  Chairman.  Now,  the  Chair  would  like  to  announce  to  the 
members  of  the  committee  that,  after  we  recess  today,  we  will  imme- 
diately go  down  to  our  own  chambers  on  the  second  floor  and  go  into 
executive  session.  The  Chair  would  also  like  to  announce  that  the 
first  witness  this  afternoon  at  2  o'clock  will  be  Mr.  Robert  Taylor. 
We  will  stand  in  recess. 

(Whereupon,  at  11 :  55  a.  m.,  a  recess  was  taken  in  the  hearing.) 

AFTER  RECESS 

The  hearing  was  resumed  at  2  p.  m.,  pursuant  to  the  taking  of  the 
recess. 

The  Ciiair:man.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order.    Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  before  we  proceed  with  the  next 
witness  I  would  like  to  place  into  the  record  a  telegram  which  was 

"  See  appendix,  p.  529,  for  exhibit  37. 


164  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

received  this  noon  from  Mr.  Sam  Wood,  who  was  a  witness  before  the 
committee  on  Monday. 

You  will  recall  that  Mr.  Wood  testified  that  he  considered  four 
directors  to  be  Communists.  He  could  not  recall  the  name  of  the 
fourth  one. 

I  have  the  following  telegram  from  Mr.  Wood :  -^ 

It  is  signed  "Sam  Wood." 

The  Chairman.  Is  that  all  you  have,  Mr.  Stripling? 

Mr.  Stripling.   Yes,  sir. 

The  CiiAiRMAX.  Mr.  Taylor,  will  you  please  raise  your  right  hand  ? 
Do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the  truth, 
the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

;Mr.  Taylor.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

TESTIMONY  OF  ROBEET  TAYLOE 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and  pres- 
ent address  for  the  record,  please  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  My  full  name  is  Robert  Taylor.  My  present  address 
is  807  North  Rodeo  Drive,  Beverly  Hills,  Calif. 

The  Ciiair3ian.  I  would  like  to  ask  all  these  still  photographers  to 
stay  there  for  a  few  more  minutes,  take  a  few  shots,  then  come  down 
here  and  take  your  positions.  We  do  not  want  to  have  any  confusion 
in  the  chambers.     Moving  around  brings  about  some  confusion. 

Mr.  Taylor,  would  you  please  speak  a  little  louder? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Please  state  when  and  where  you  were  born,  Mr. 
Taylor. 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  was  born  in  Filley,  Nebr.,  August  5, 1911, 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  here  before  the  Committee  on  Un-American 
Activities  in  response  to  a  subpena  which  was  served  upon  you  on 
October  3,  1947,  are  you  not? 

Mr.  Taylor.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  ask  that  the  subpena  be  made  a 
part  of  the  record. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered.-^ 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wliat  is  your  present  occupation,  Mr.  Taylor? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  am  presently  employed  as  an  actor  by  ]\letro-Gold- 
wyn-Ma,yer  Studios  in  Culver  City,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  j-ou  been  an  actor? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  have  been  employed  as  an  actor  since  1934. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  have  been  in  Hollywood  since  1933. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  in  the  last  World  War  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  what  branch  of  the  service  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  The  United  States  Naval  Air  Service. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  was  your  rank? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  was  discharged  from  the  Navy  as  a  full  lieutenant. 


2"  See  appendix,  p.  529,  for  exhibit  38. 
'^  See  appeiiilix,  p.  530,  for  exhibit  39. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  165 

Mr.  StriplinCx.  Durin<Tj  the  time  you  have  been  in  Hollywood  has 
there  been  any  period  during  which  you  considered  that  the  Communist 
Party  or  the  fellow  travelers  of  the  Communist  Party  were  exerting 
any  influence  in  the  motion-picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  of  course,  I  have  been  looking  for  communism 
for  a  long  time.  I  have  been  so  strongly  opposed  to  it  for  so  many 
years ;  I  think  in  the  past  4  or  5  years,  specifically,  I  have  seen  more 
indications  which  seemed  to  me  to  be  signs  of  communistic  activity  in 
Hollywood  and  the  motion-picture  industry. 

JNTr,  Stripling.  In  any  particular  field? 

Mr.  Taylor.  No,  sir.  I  suppose  the  most  readil}^  determined  field  in 
which  it  could  be  cited  woulcl  be  in  the  preparation  of  scripts — specifi- 
cally, in  the  writing  of  those  scripts.  I  have  seen  things  from  time 
to  time  which  appeared  to  me  to  be  slightly  on  the  pinli  side,  shall  we 
say ;  at  least,  that  was  my  personal  opinion. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  we  have  a  little  better  order? 

The  Chairman  (pounding  gavel).  Please  come  to  order. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  in  referring  to  the  writers,  do  you  mean 
writers  who  are  members  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  assume  that  they  are  writers  of  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild.  There  seem  to  be  many  different  factions  in  skills  in  Hollywood. 
I  don't  know  just  who  belongs  to  what  sometimes,  but  I  assume  they 
are  members  of  the  guild. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  member  of  any  guild  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  am  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild ;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  noticed  anj^  elements  within  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild  that  you  would  consider  to  be  following  the  Com- 
munist Party  line  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  yes,  sir;  I  must  confess  that  I  have.  I  am  a 
member  of  the  board  of  clirectors  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild.  Quite 
recentlj^  I  have  been  very  active  as  a  director  of  that  board.  It  seems 
to  me  that  at  meetings,  especiall}^  meetings  of  the  general  membership 
of  the  guild,  there  is  always  a  certain  group  of  actors  and  actresses 
whose  every  action  would  indicate  to  me  that  if  they  are  not  Com- 
munists they  are  working  awfully  hard  to  be  Communists.  I  don't 
know.  Their  tactics  and  their  philosophies  seem  to  me  to  be  pretty 
much  party-line  stuff. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  for  just  a  minute?  We  are  going 
to  recess  for  about  2  minutes  and  we  hope  everybody  will  keep  their 
seats. 

(A  short  recess  was  taken.) 

The  Chairman.  All  right,  we  will  go  in  session  again.  Go  ahead, 
Mr.  Stripling, 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  these  people  in  the  Screen  Actors  Guild 
who,  in  your  opinion  follow  the  Communist  Party  line,  are  they  a  dis- 
rupting influence  within  the  organization  ? 

iilr.  Taylor.  It  seems  so  to  me.  In  the  meetings  which  I  have  at- 
tended, at  least  on  issues  in  which  apparently  there  is  considerable 
unanimity  of  opinion,  it  always  occurs  that  someone  is  not  quite 
able  to  understand  what  the  issue  is  and  the  meeting,  instead  of  being 
over  at  10  o'clock  or  10 :  30  when  it  logically  should  be  over,  probably 
winds  up  running  until  1  or  2  o'clock  in  the  morning  on  such  issues  as 
points  of  order,  and  so  on. 


166  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  recall  the  names  of  anj^  of  the  actors  in  the 
guild  who  participated  in  such  activity? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  yes,  sir;  I  can  name  a  few  who  seem  to  sort  of 
disrupt  things  once  in  awhile.  Whether  or  not  they  are  Communists, 
1  don't  know. 

Mr.  STRirLixG.  Would  you  name  them  for  the  committee,  please? 

Mr.  Taylor.  One  chap  we  have  currently,  I  think,  is  Mr.  Howard 
Da  Silva.  He  always  seems  to  have  something  to  say  at  the  wrong 
time.     Miss  Karen  Morley  also  usually  appears  at  the  guild  meetings. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  K-a-r-e-n  M-o-r-l-e-y? 
_  Mr.  Taylor.  I  believe  so ;  yes,  sir.    Those  are  two  I  can  think  of 
right  at  the  moment. 

Mr.  Stripling.  ]Mr.  Taylor,  have  you  ever  participated  in  any  pic- 
ture as  an  actor  which  you  considered  contained  Communist  pro- 
paganda ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  assume  we  are  now  referring  to  Song  of  Russia.  I 
must  confess  that  I  objected  strenuously  to  doing  Song  of  Russia  at 
the  time  it  was  made.  I  felt  that  it,  to  my  way  of  thinking  at  least, 
did  contain  Communist  propaganda.  However,  that  was  my  personal 
opinion.  A  lot  of  my  friends  and  people  whose  opinions  I  respect  did 
not  agree  with  me. 

When  the  script  was  first  given  me  I  felt  it  definitely  contained 
Communist  propaganda  and  objected  to  it  upon  that  basis.  I  was 
assured  by  the  studio  that  if  there  was  Communist  propaganda  in  that 
scrijDt  it  would  be  eliminated.  I  must  admit  that  a  great  deal  of  the 
things  to  which  I  objected  were  eliminated. 

Another  thing  which  determined  my  attitute  toward  Song  of  Rus- 
sia was  the  fact  that  I  liad  recently  been  commissioned  in  the  Navy  and 
was  awaiting  orders.  I  wanted  to  go  ahead  and  get  in  the  Navy.  How- 
ever, it  seems  at  the  time  there  were  many  pictures  being  made  to 
more  or  less  strengthen  the  feeling  of  the  Aifierican  people  toward 
Russia. 

I  did  Song  of  Russia.  I  don't  think  it  should  have  been  made.  I 
don't  think  it  would  be  made  today. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr,  Taylor,  in  connection  with  the  production  of 
Song  of  Russia,  do  you  know  whether  or  not  it  was  made  at  the  sug- 
gestion of  a  representative  of  the  Government? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  do  not  believe  that  it  was  made  at  the  suggestion  of  a 
Government  representative ;  no,  sir.  I  think  the  script  was  written  and 
prepared  long  before  any  representative  of  the  Government  became 
involved  in  it  in  any  way. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  ever  present  at  any  meeting  at  which  a 
representative  of  the  Government  was  present  and  this  picture  was 
discussed? 

Mr.  Tayt.or.  Yes.  sir;  in  Mr.  L.  B.  Mayer's  office.  One  day  I  was 
called  to  meet  Mr.  Mellett  whom  I  met  in  the  company  of  Mr.  Mayer 
and,  as  I  recall,  the  Song  of  Russia  was  discussed  briefly.  I  don't 
think  we  were  together  more  than  5  minutes. 

It  was  disclosed  at  that  time  that  the  Government  was  interested  in 
the  picture  being  made  and  also  pictures  of  that  nature  being  made  by 
ether  studios  as  well.  As  I  say,  it  was  to  strengthen  the  feeling  of  the 
American  people  toward  the  Russian  people  at  that  time. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  Mellet  you  referred  to  is  Mr.  Lowell  Mellett? 


COMMUNISM  IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  167 

Mr.  Taylor.  Yes,  sir. 

Mv.  STRirLiNG.  He  was  the  Chief  of  the  Bureau  of  Motion  Pictures 
of  the  Ofiice  of  War  Information  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  That  is  right.    However,  may  I  clarify  something? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes;  go  right  ahead. 

Mr.  Taylor.  If  I  ever  gave  the  impression  in  anything  that  ap- 
peared previously  that  I  was  forced  into  making  Song  of  Russia,  I 
would  like  to  say  in  my  own  defense,  lest  I  look  a  little  silly  by  saying 
I  was  ever  forced  to  do  the  picture,  I  was  not  forced  because  nobody 
can  force  yon  to  make  any  picture. 

I  objected  to  it  but  in  deference  to  the  situation  as  it  then  existed  I 
did  the  picture. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  have  any  special  qualification,  Mr.  Taylor, 
for  the  particular  part  they  wanted  to  fill?  I  understand  you  were 
selected,  among  other  reasons,  because  of  the  fact  that  you  were  a 
musician. 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  I  assume  that  that  might  have  been  a  qualifica- 
tion for  doing  a  part  in  Song  of  Eussia.  Yes,  I  had  studied  music  quite 
extensively  in  college  and  previous  to  going  to  college. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  tell  the  committee  whether  or  not  in  your 
experience  in  Hollywood  any  scripts  have  ever  been  submitted  to  you 
which  contained  any  lines  of  material  which  you  considered  might  be 
un-American  or  communistic — any  lines  which  you  objected  to? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Oh,  yes,  sir.  I  think  from  time  to  time  you  are  bound 
to  run  into  lines  and  situations  and  scenes  which  I  would  consider 
objectionable.  One  script  was  submitted  to  me  quite  some  time  ago, 
but  not  officially  from  the  studio,  which  I  objected  to  on  the  basis  that 
it  seemed  to  foster  ideologies  which  I  did  not  personally  agree  with. 

However,  nothing  more  came  out  of  it.  The  script  has  not  been 
made  and  I  have  heard  nothing  more  about  it,  as  a  matter  of  fact. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  there  has  been  quite  some  testimony 
here  regarding  the  presence  within  the  motion-picture  industry  of  a 
number  of  writers  who  are  considered  to  be  Communists.  Are  j^ou 
personally  acquainted  with  any  of  the  writers  whom  you  consider  to 
be  Communists  or  who  follow  the  Communist  Party  line? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  know  several  writers — I  know  of  several  writers  in 
the  motion-picture  business  who  are  reputedly  fellow  travelers  or  pos- 
sibly Communists.     I  don't  know  about  that. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  no  personal  knowledge  of  it  yourself? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  know  one  gentleman  employed  at  the  studio  at  whicli 
I  am  employed.  Mr.  Lester  Cole,  who  is  reputedly  a  Communist.  I 
would  not  know  personally. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  say  that  after  Pearl  Harbor  the  activi- 
ties of  the  Communists  in  the  motion-picture  industry  increased  or 
decreased? 

Mr.  Tayi.or.  I  think  quite  obviously  it  must  have  increased.  The 
ground  for  their  work  in  this  country  was  obviously  more  fertile. 
I  would  say  "yes";  it  did  definitely  increase  following  Pearl  Harbor. 

Mv.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  have  you  ever  joined  any  Communist- 
front  organization? 

Mr.  Taylor.  No.  sir;  believe  me. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  played  in  any  picture  with  people 
whom  you  had  any  doubts  about  as  to  their  loyalty  to  the  Government? 


168  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Taylor.  Not  that  I  know  of.  I  have  never  worked  with  anyone 
knowingly  who  is  a  Communist.  Moreover,  I  shall  never  work  with 
anyone  who  is  a  Communist. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  would  refuse  to  act  in  a  picture  in  which  a 
person  whom  you  considered  to  be  a  Communist  was  also  cast ;  is  that 
correct  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  most  assuredly  would  and  I  would  not  even  have 
to  know  that  he  was  a  Communist.  This  may  sound  biased;  however, 
if  I  were  even  suspicious  of  a  person  being  a  Communist  with  whom 
I  was  sclieduled  to  work,  I  am  afraid  it  would  have  to  be  him  or  me, 
because  life  is  a  little  too  short  to  be  around  people  who  annoy  me  as 
much  as  these  fellow  trav^elers  and  Communists  do. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  definitely  consider  them  to  be  a  bad  influence 
upon  the  industry? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  certainly  do ;  3"es,  sir. 

INIr.  Stripling.  They  are  a  rotten  apple  in  the  barrel  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  To  me  they  are  and  I  further  believe  that  99.9  percent 
of  the  people  in  the  motion-picture  industry  feel  exactly  as  I  do. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  do  you  think  would  be  the  best  way  to  ap- 
proach the  problem  of  ridding  the  industry  of  the  Communists  who  are 
now  entrenched  therein? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  sir,  if  I  were  given  the  responsibility  of  getting 
rid  of  them  I  would  love  nothing  better  than  to  fire  every  last  one  of 
them  and  never  let  them  work  in  a  studio  or  in  Hollywood  again.  How- 
ever, that  is  not  my  position. 

If  I  were  producing  a  picture  on  my  own — and  I  hope  I  never  do — 
but  if  I  were,  I  would  not  have  one  of  them  within  100  miles  of  me  or 
the  studio  or  the  script.  I  am  sure  the  producers  in  Hollywood  are 
faced  with  a  slightly  different  problem.  They  are  heads  of  an  industry 
and  as  heads  of  an  industry  they  might  be  slightly  more  judicial 
than  I,  as  an  individual,  would  be. 

I  believe  firmly  that  the  producers,  the  heads  of  the  studios  in  Holly- 
wood, would  be  and  are  more  than  willing  to  do  everything  they  can 
to  rid  Hollywood  of  Communists  and  fellow  travelers. 

I  think  if  given  the  tools  with  which  to  work — specifically,  some 
sort  of  national  legislation  or  an  attitude  on  the  part  of  the  Govern- 
ment as  such  which  would  provide  them  with  the  weapons  for  getting 
rid  of  these  people — I  have  no  doubt  personally  but  what  they  would 
be  gone  in  very  short  order. 

INIr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  do  you  consider  that  the  motion  picture 
primarily  is  a  vehicle  of  entertainment  and  not  of  propaganda? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  certainly  do.  I  think  it  is  the  primary  job  of  the 
motion-picture  industry  to  entertain ;  nothing  more,  nothing  less. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  the  industry  would  be  in  a  better 
position  if  it  stuck  strictly  to  entertainment  without  permitting  politi- 
cal films  to  be  made,  without  being  so  labeled? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  certainly  do.  Moreover,  I  feel  that  largely  the  picture 
business  does  stick  to  entertaiimient.  I  do  not  think  they  let  themselves 
be  sidetracked  too  much  with  propaganda  films  and  things  of  that  sort. 
Every  once  in  a  while  things  do  sneak  in  that  nobody  catches.  If  the 
Communists  are  not  working  in  the  picture  business  there  is  no  motive 
for  their  sneaking  things  in. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Taylor,  returning  to  the  picture  Song  of  Russia 
for  a  moment,  INIiss  Ayn  Rand  gave  the  connnittee  a  review  of  the 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY  169 

picture  several  days  ago.  In  the  picture  there  were  several  scenes, 
particularly  a  wedding  scene  at  which  a  priest  officiated ;  also  several 
other  scenes  at  which  the  clergy  was  present.  When  you  were  making 
this  picture  were  you  under  the  impression  that  freedom  of  religion 
was  enjoyed  in  Russia? 

Mr.  Taylor.  No,  sir ;  I  never  was  under  the  impression  that  freedom 
of  religion  was  enjoyed  in  Russia.  However,  I  must  confess  when  it 
got  down  to  that  part  of  the  picture  the  picture  was  about  two-thirds 
gone  and  it  didn't  actually  occur  to  me  until  you  mentioned  it  just  a 
minute  ago. 

Mr.  Stkipling.  Those  are  all  the  qeustions  I  have  now,  Mr.  Chair- 
man. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon  ? 

Mr.  NixoN.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDow^ELL.  Mr.  Taylor,  you  have  been  interested  in  this  matter 
for  quite  a  long  time,  and  probably  know  as  much  about  the  situation 
in  Hollywood  as  any  person  who  lives  there.  There  have  been  many 
statements  made  since  INIr.  Thomas  and  I  were  to  Hollywood  last  May 
and  began  this  investigation  into  the  Communist  activities  on  the 
west  coast,  to  the  effect  that  the  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities 
was  attempting  to  control  thought  or  frighten  the  producers  out  there 
into  producing  some  sort  of  picture.  Has  that  been  your  impression  of 
our  activities  5 

Mr.  Taylor.  No,  sir;  not  at  any  time  did  I  get  that  impression. 

Mr.  McDowell.  I  am  very  glad  to  hear  you  say  that.  I  thought 
a  great  deal  about  things  I  have  read  in  various  columns  of  the  papers 
as  to  our  attempting  to  control  the  great  American  movie  industry.  It 
is  silly.  The  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities  is  attempting  to 
find  the  enemies  of  the  Nation.  We  are  not  concerned  with  liberals  or 
conservatives  or  anj^thing  of  that  kind;  we  are  hunting  enemies  of  the 
Nation.    We  know  some  are  in  Hollywood.    Thank  you  for  coming. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon  ? 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  Ta^dor,  as  a  result  of  your  appearance  before  the 
Subcommittee  on  Un-American  Activities  in  Hollywood  a  few  months 
ago,  you  were  subject  to  considerable  criticism  and  ridicule  from 
certain  left-wing  quarters  were  you  not? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  am  afraid  so;  yes,  sir.    It  didn't  bother  me,  however. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  as  the  result  of  your  testimony  and  your  appearance 
before  this  committee  today  and  the  stand  you  have  taken  on  this  issue 
you  will  be  the  subject  of  additional  ridicule  and  criticism  from  those 
quarters ;  will  you  not  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  suppose  so.  However,  any  time  any  of  the  left-wing 
press  or  individuals  belonging  to  the  left  wing  or  their  fellow-traveler 
groups  ridicule  me,  I  take  it  as  a  compliment  because  I  really  enjoy 
their  displeasure. 

Mr.  NixoN.  You  realize,  however,  that  your  success  as  an  actor,  your 
livelihood  as  an  actor,  depends  to  a  great  extent  upon  the  type  of 
publicity  you  receive? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  that  ridicule  and  abuse  heaped  upon  you  has  a 
much  more  serious  effect  than  it  would  have  upon  a  person  who  does 


170  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

not  depend  upon  public  acceptance  of  what  he  does  ?  Yet  you  feel  that 
under  the  circumstances  it  is  your  duty  as  an  American  citizen  to  state 
your  views  on  this  matter? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  most  assuredly  do,  sir. 

Mr.  Nixon.  As  far  as  you  are  concerned,  even  though  it  might  mean 
that  you  would  suffer  possibly  at  the  box  office,  possibly  in  reputation 
or  in  other  ways  for  you  to  appear  before  this  committee,  you  feel 
you  are  justified  in  making  the  appearance  and  you  would  do  so 
again  if  you  were  requested  to  do  so  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  I  certainly  would,  sir.  I  happen  to  believe  strongly 
enough  in  the  American  people  and  in  what  the  American  people  be- 
lieve in  to  think  that  they  will  go  along  with  anybody  who  prefers 
America  and  the  American  form  of  government  over  any  other  sub- 
versive ideologies  which  might  be  presented  and  by  whom  I  might 
be  criticized.     [Loud  applause.] 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Taylor,  are  you  in  favor  of  the  motion-picture 
industry  making  anti-Communist  pictures  giving  the  facts  about 
communism  ? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Congressman  Thomas,  when  the  time  arrives — and  it 
might  not  be  long — when  pictures  of  that  type  are  indicated  as  neces- 
sary, I  believe  the  motion-picture  industry  will  and  should  make  anti- 
Communist  pictures.  When  that  time  is  going  to  be  I  don't  happen 
to  know,  but  I  believe  they  should  and  will  be  made. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  any  other  questions,  Mr.  Stripling? 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  would  like  to  ask  Mr.  Taylor  if  he  thinks  the  Com- 
munist Party  should  be  outlawed,  for  this  reason:  This  committee 
presently  has  before  it  two  bills  which  seek  to  do  that  very  thing, 
legislation  which  would  in  fact  outlaw  the  party.  Do  you  think  that 
would  reach  this  Communist  influence  in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Taylor.  Well,  in  order  to  answer  that,  I  personally,  with  all 
due  regard  to  Mr.  Hoover,  whose  opinion  I  respect  most  highly,  cer- 
tainly do  believe  that  the  Communist  Party  should  be  outlawed. 
However,  I  am  not  an  expert  on  politics  or  on  what  the  reaction 
would  be.  If  I  had  my  way  about  it  they  would  all  be  sent  back  to 
Kussia  or  some  other  unpleasant  place  [loud  applause]  and  never 
allowed  back  in  this  country. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  going  to  ask  the  audience  to  please  not  ap- 
plaud. We  are  trying  to  get  the  facts  here.  This  is  not  a  show,  or 
anything  like  that.  Do  not  applaud  any  of  the  witnesses  who  are 
on  the  stand,  or  at  any  other  time.     Go  ahead,  Mr.  Taylor. 

Mr.  Taylor.  If  outlawing  the  Communist  Party  would  solve  the 
Communist  threat  in  this  country  then  I  am  thoroughly  in  approval 
and  accord  with  it  being  outlawed. 

The  Chairman.  Does  any  other  member  have  any  questions? 
(No  response.) 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Taylor,  thank  you  very  much  for  coming  here 
today.    We  want  to  congratulate  you  for  your  very  frank  statement. 
We  are  going  to  ask  all  the  audience  and  all  the  photographers  to 
please  keep  your  seats  while  the  witness  is  leaving.     We  will  have 
another  witness  in  a  few  seconds.    Mr.  Leckie  and  Mr.  Smith,  please 
escort  the  witness  from  the  chambers. 
Thank  you  very  much. 
Mr.  Stripling,  call  your  next  witness. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY  171 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  will  be  Howard 
Rushmore. 

The  Chairman.  The  committee  will  recess  for  1  minute. 

(A  short  recess  was  taken.) 

The  Chairiman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order. 

Mr.  Rushmore. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the 
truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

Mr.  Stripling. 

TESTIMONY  OF  HOWARD  RUSHMOEE 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Rushmore,  please  state  your  full  name. 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Howard  Rushmore. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  address? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Huntington,  Long  Island,  N.  Y. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  w^ere  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Mitchell,  S.  Dak.,  1912. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  are  here  in  response  to  a  subpena,  ar.e  you  not?^ 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  am. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation? 

Mv.  Rushmore.  Editorial  department  of  the  New  York  Journal- 
American. 

]Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  employed  there? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Seven  years. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  ever  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  was. 

Mr.  Stripling.  During  what  period? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  From  1936  to  1939. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  ever  hold  any  position  in  the  Communist 
Party? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  did. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  enumerate  to  the  committee  the  positions 
you  held  in  the  party? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Chiefly  film  critic  for  the  Daily  Worker.  I  was  also 
on  the  Daily  Worker  as  managing  editor  of  their  Sunday  magazine, 
as  city  editor  on  Sunday,  and  had  a  few  jobs  like  that,  but  chiefly  as 
film  critic. 

JNIr.  Stripling.  Why  did  you  break  with  the  party? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Largely  over  the  review  of  Gone  With  the  Wind, 
which  I  criticized  for  its  defects,  calling  it  a  magnificent  bore,  but 
parts  here  and  there  I  thought  praiseworthy.  For  a  period  of  a  year 
the  party  had  been  insisting  movies  be  handled  in  a  much  more  tough 
fashion,  shall  I  say,  and  I  thought  that  to  ask  for  a  boycott  of  Gone 
With  the  Wind  was  a  little  strong.  There  developed  quite  an  argu- 
ment over  that  and  I  resigned  and  left  the  .party  December  27, 1939. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  one  who  was  in  the  party  and  who  would  be 
familiar  with  the  party's  position  regarding  movies,  will  you  state  to 
the  committee  the  attitude  of  the  Communist  International,  which  is 
the  governing  body,  shall  we  say,  of  the  Communist  Party,  regarding 
the  motion-picture  industry  or  the  movies? 

"^  See  appendix,  p.  530,  for  exhibit  40. 


172  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  will  go  back  to  1925.  The  Daily  Worker  pub- 
lished an  article  by  Willie  Miienzenburfr.  Mr.  Muenzeiibui'<^  was  a 
member  of  the  Communist  International  and  in  charge  of  C.  I.  cul- 
tural affairs  and  in  the  Daily  Worker  of  1925  he  wrote  the  follow- 
ing  

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Ruslmiore,  are  you  referring  to  C.    I- 


Mr.  RusHMORE.  Communist  International.     That  is  the  usual  party 
term  for  the  Communist  International. 
Muenzenburg  wrote  as  follows : 

We  must  develop  the  tremendons  cultural  possibilities  in  a  revolutionary  sense. 
One  of  the  most  pressing  tasks  confronting  the  Communist  Party  in  the  field  of 
propaganda  is  the  conquest  of  this  supremely  important  propaganda  uutil  now 
the  monopoly  of  the  ruling  class.  We  must  wrest  it  from  them  and  turn  it 
against  them. 

This  article  dealt  entirely  with  the  movie  industry. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  have  any  information  or  quotations  which 
reflect  the  position  of  Lenin  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  Well,  Lenin,  as  leader  of  the  Russian  Revolution^ 
wrote  the  following: 

Communists  must  always  consider  that  of  all  the  arts  the  motion  picture  is  the 
most  important. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  tell  us  whether  or  not  this  line  as  laid 
down  by  Muenzenburg  has  been  followed  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  It  has  been  followed  very  carefully  since  1925.  At 
first  the  Communist  Party  sought  to  set  up  independent  production 
units,  one  of  which  was  called  the  Film  and  Photo  League,  later  an- 
other one  called  Frontier  Films,  to  produce  documentary  pictures  of 
communist  agitation  and  propaganda.  However,  as  that  went  along 
they  saw  they  couldn't  reach  what  they  called  the  masses  with  such 
16-millimeter  films  and  their  lack  of  distributive  methods. 

I  might  cite  one  of  these  films  which — two  of  them,  as  a  matter  of 
fact — put  out  by  Frontier  Films,  which  was  organized  largely  by 
Herbert  Kline,  who  is  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party.  This 
movie,  the  Heart  of  Spain,  was  widely  shown  in  Hollywood,  and  one 
labor  film,  which  was  Our  Civil  Liberties,  which  was  praised  by 
Donald  Ogden  Stewart  in  the  Daily  Worker  and  called  a  magnificent 
film. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  you  referred  to  Herbert  Kline  as  a  party 
member.     How  do  you  know  he  is  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  have  seen  him  at  national  headquarters  of  the 
Communist  Party,  35  East  Twelfth  Street,  New  York,  in  a  part  of  the 
building  where  only  party  members  were  admitted. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  the  Communists  organize  any  other  movie 
groups  ? 

Mr.  Rusiimore.  They  had  what  they  called  Film  Audiences  for 
Democracy  and  set  up  branches  of  that  throughout  the  United  States 
and  had  a  very  active  branch  in  Hollywood.  A  lot  of  prominent 
people,  some  of  them  certainly  not  Communists,  were  drawn  into 
this  innocent  sounding  Communist  front  organization.  I  noticed 
in  the  Daily  Worker  that  Walter  Wanger,  the  producer,  spoke 
before  the  Hollywood  bi-anch  of  the  Film  Audiences  for  Democracy,, 
and  he  is  quoted  in  the  Daily  Worker  of  April  l-t,  1939,  defending  th& 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  173 

movie,  Blockade,  which,  incidentally,  the  Communist  Party  supported 
fully,  AVanger  said  of  Blockade : 

Every  film  that  was  ever  made  was  propaganda  for  something,  there  is  no  such 
thing  as  a  film  which  does  not  contain  propaganda. 

I  might  add  that  that  Wanger  picture,  Blockade,  gave  100  percent 
endorsement  of  Stalin's  effort  to  seize  Spain  as  another  foreign  colony 
of  the  Kremlin,  and  the  Connnunist  Party  through  all  its  fronts  and 
CIO  and  A.  F.  of  L.  unions  which  it  controlled,  put  on  a  terrific  cam- 
paign for  Blockade. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  tell  the  committee  the  purposes  of  the 
organization  of  Film  Audiences  for  Democracy,  what  was  it,  why  was 
it  established  ? 

Mr.  KusHMORE.  It  was  set  up — there  are  several  reasons.  One,  as  a 
l^ressure  group,  which  I  will  explain  later,  and  also  as  a,  shall  we  call 
it,  public  relations  outfit,  to  get  across  to  the  public  the  kind  of  movie 
the  Communists  thought  the  public  should  see. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  was  the  mechanical  set-up  as  to  the  Com- 
numists  directly  in  Hollywood?  In  other  words,  how  was  their  ac- 
tivity directed  in  the  motion  picture  industry? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  Well,  at  the  time  I  was  on  the  Daily  Worker  for 
those  3  years  John  Howard  Lawson  was  in  direct  charge  of  Communist 
activities  in  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  would  like  to  ask  you,  you  referred  to  Film 
Audiences  of  Democracy  as  a  pressure  group,  do  you  mean  that  they 
organized  picket  lines  against  certain  pictures  which  they  felt  were» 
for  one  reason  or  another,  unfavorable  to  their  position? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  They  did  that  to  a  great  extent.  Also  they  organ- 
ized a  very  skillful  form  of  propaganda.  Say  the  Communist  Party 
had  been  informed  that  a  movie  was  coming  out  within  a  couple  of 
months  which  was  anti-Communist  or  anti-some  part  of  their  partic- 
ular line  or  foreign  policy.  Film  Audiences  for  Democracy  would 
line  up  the  various  unions  in  the  Communist  periphery,  the  innumer- 
able front  organizations,  and  carry  on  a  letter  and  telegram  campaign 
to  the  producers.  They  would  get  church  groups,  they  would  get  al- 
most any  kind  of  organization  to  wire  these  protests.  As  a  result  the 
producers  would  have  thousands  of  letters  and  telegrams  coming  in 
demanding  this  picture  be  halted. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  the  Communists  got 
tips  direct  from  Hollywood  as  to  what  would  be  produced  ?  In  other 
words,  that  they  might  organize  in  advance  a  campaign  against  either 
the  production  of  the  picture  or  its  showing  at  theaters? 

Mr.  RusHMORE,  They  received  regular  information  on  the  kind  of 
pictures  coming  out  from  the  various  studios  and  in  some  cases  I 
know  that  the  actual  script,  or  a  copy  of  it,  rather,  was  sent  to  the 
Cultural  Commission  of  the  party  at  35  East  Twelfth  Street  months 
before  the  picture  went  into  production. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  was  the  name  of  that  picture? 

Mr.  RusioroRE.  Well,  let  me  check  my  notes  here.  There  were 
several  of  them. 

One  movie  that  I  remember  particularly  was  Our  Leading  Citizen, 
put  out  by  Paramount,  and  the  script  of  Our  Leading  Citizen  was  sent: 
to  V.  J.  Jerome,  who  was  the  head  of  the  Communist  Party  Cultural 

67683—47 12 


174  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Commission,  and  I  was  told  by  the  Cultural  Commission  that  they 
had  looked  over  this  script  and  decided  that  this  movie  was  one  of 
the  most  anti-Communist  movies  in  years,  and  that  they  were  going 
to  line  up  a  boycott  of  it.  I  reviewed  the  movie — that  was  in  1939 — 
I  reviewed  the  movie  and  we  called  for  a  boycott  of  the  picture.  The 
next  day  the  party  had  already  prepared  around  three  columns  of 
protests  from  so-called  progressive  labor  leaders,  community  leaders, 
and  people  like  that.  The  letter  and  telegram  barrage  against  Para- 
mount started  immediately  but  the  entire  campaign  was  planned  to 
begin  on  the  opening  day  of  the  picture  on  Broadway. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  these  boycotts  does  the  Communist  Party  mobi- 
lize a  united  front  of  its  various  front  organizations  or  is  it  strictly 
the  activity  of  the  party  itself  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  Oh,  they  use  every  organization  that  they  control 
or  have  influence  in,  not  only  their  major  organizations,  the  CIO 
and  the  A.  F.  of  L.,  but  tile  Council  of  American-Soviet  Friendship, 
the  old-time  American  League  for  Peace  and  Democracy,  the  Ameri- 
can Youth  for  Democracy,  they  have  factions  in  such  church  organi- 
zations as  Epworth  League,  they  have  a  faction  of  ministers  under 
Communist  control  who  can  be  depended  on. 

Mr.  Stripling.  A  faction  of  ministers? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Yes.  The  word  "faction"  means  a  group  who  work 
within  a  large  organization. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  identify  the  group  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  never  met  with  them.  Clarence  Hathaway,  edi- 
tor of  the  Daily  Worker  at  the  time  I  was  there,  was  in  charge  of  these 
ministers.  Clarence  used  to  tell  me  how  he  got  a  big  kick  out  of  meet- 
ing twice  a  week,  as  he  said  with  a  bunch  of  preachers  and  giving  them 
the  party  line,  which  they  carried  out  through  various  front  organi- 
zations set  up,  and  individually,  and  perhaps  in  their  churches. 

Mr.  Stripling.  M'r.  Rushmore,  there  has  been  testimony  before  the 
committee  given  yesterday  by  Mr.  Rupert  Hughes  to  the  effect  that 
certain  producers  in  Hollywood  refrained  from  producing  anti- 
Communist  films  because  they  were  forewarned  that  if  they  did  so- 
called  stinkpots  would  be  placed  in  theaters  and  the  upholstery  in  the 
seats  would  be  slashed.  As  a  former  Communist  and  one  who  was 
in  the  inner  circle  of  the  party  do  you  think  that  the  Communist  Party 
would  resort  to  such  tactics  or  do  you  know  whether  they  ever  have? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Not  of  my  own  knowledge  but  it  is  very  possible 
that  they  would  do  that.  I  have  been  at  union  meetings  when  they 
discussed  the  breaking  of  windows  or  the  breaking  of  skulls,  so  the 
use  of  stinkpots  in  a  movie  is  quite  possible. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Who  was  the  commissar  of  the  motion-picture  indus- 
try when  you  were  in  the  Communist  Party? 

Mr.  RuSHjroRE.  At  the  time  I  was  there  the  person  in  charge  of  party 
activities  in  Hollywood  was  John  Howard  Lawson. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  John  Howard  Lawson  is  a  writer 

Mr.  Rushmore.  He  is  a  writer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  And  one  of  those  who  has  been  subpenaed  before  the 
committee. 

Did  you  ever  meet  John  Howard  Lawson  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  did. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  did  you  meet  him? 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  175 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  The  date  would  be  late  1937  or  early  1938,  on  the 
ninth  floor  of  the  Communist  Party  headquarters,  35  East  Twelfth 
Street. 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  ninth  floor.  Is  there  any  particular  significance 
to  the  ninth  floor? 

Mr.  KusiiMORE.  That  is  the  inner  sanctum,  the  place  where  the 
national  officers  of  the  Community  Party  have  their  headquarters, 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  consider  John  Howard  Lawson  to  be  a 
member  of  the  Connnunist  Party  or  did  you  consider  him  to  be  one 
at  that  time  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  At  this  particular  meeting  I  was  invited  by  Clar- 
ence Hathaway,  the  editor  of  the  Daily  Worker,  to  attend.  It  was  a 
meeting  of  the  cultural  commission  of  the  Communist  Party. 

Mr.  Stripling.  M'ay  I  interrupt?  Would  you  explain  to  the  com- 
mittee, briefly,  just  what  is  the  cultural  commission  of  the  Communist 
Party  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  It  is  a  sort  of  subcommittee  of  the  central  commit- 
tee. The  central  committee  is  the  governing- body  of  the  Communist 
Party.  This  subcommittee  is  one  of  its  most  important  adjuncts.  It 
was  organized  by  Alexander  Trachtenburg,  who  is  a  member  of  the 
political  bureau  of  the  Connnunist  Party.  This  cultural  commission 
was  set  up  by  Trachtenburg  after  his  return  from  one  of  his  many  trips 
to  Moscow,  I  think  around  in  1934,  and  furthermore  Trachtenburg 
himself  told  me  at  one  time  that  the  regular  reports  of  the  commission's 
activities  were  delivered  to  Moscow  either  by  himself  or  a  courier  at 
least  once  a  year. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Who  was  in  charge  of  the  commission,  the  cultural 
commission  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  V.  J.  Jerome. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  his  real  name? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Isaac  Romaine. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  he  was  ever  in  Holly- 
wood? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  He  has  made  many  trips  to  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  why  he  went  there? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Well,  Jerome  went  there  to — I  will  cite  one  instance 
that  I  know  of — to  make  a  speech  before  the  Anti-Nazi  League  in 
Hollywood,  which  was  largely  under  party  control. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  the  Hollywood  Anti-Nazi  League  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  That  is  right.  I  might  add  Jerome  is  one  of  the 
most  important  leaders  of  tlie  Communist  Party.  To  prove  that,  he 
was  editor  for  years  for  the  Communist  magazine.  That  is  their  most 
important  publication.  It  is  the  theoretical  organ  of  the  Communist 
Party.  Jerome's  job  was  seeing  that  this  magazine  reflected  the 
policy  as  laid  down  by  Moscow  to  the  American  Communists. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  V.  J.  Jerome  ever  collab- 
orated with  Hanns  Eisler,  either  in  Eisler's  articles  or  in  songs  which 
Hanns  Eisler  wrote  the  music  for? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  have  a  recollection  of  that,  but  it  is  only  a  vague 
one.  I  know  that  Eisler,  as  one  of  the  bosses  of  the  American  Com- 
munist Party,  would  have  jurisdiction  over  Jerome.  That  would  be 
self-evident. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  other  words,  Gerhart  Eisler  was  Jerome's  boss? 


176  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  He  would  be  one  of  tliem. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  One  of  them? 

Mr.  RusiiMOKE.  One  of  the  major  ones. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Did  von  consider  Gerhart  Eisler  to  be  a  representa- 
tive of  the  Connnunist  International  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  never  met  him.  At  that  time  he  was  pretty  much 
under  wraps  and  in  the  Communist  Party  the  rank  and  file  newspaper- 
man never  meets  what  they  call  the  C.  I.  reps,  the  Communist  Inter- 
national representatives. 

]Mr.  Striplixg.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  Jerome  ever  went  to 
Hollywood  for  the  purpose  of  collecting  funds  for  the  party's  activi- 
ties? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  That  I  don't  know.  I  do  know  that  in  this  meet- 
ing which  Jerome  was  chairman  of,  he  and  Lawson  talked  at  great 
length  about  the  party's  fund  raising  in  Hollywood.  It  was  my  ob- 
servation at  this  meeting  that  it  was  Lawson's  job  to  raise  money  in 
Hollywood,  to  have  a  certain  quota,  and  whether  it  was  weekly  or 
monthly  I  don't  know,  but  there  was  considerable  discussion  on  Law- 
son's  part  about  this  quota,  and  Jerome  expressed  dissatisfaction  with 
the  amount  being  raised,  although  when  Lawson  said  how  much  it  was 
it  rather  astonished  me,  it  was  up  in  the  high  figures. 

INIr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Rushmore,  a  few  moments  ago  when  I  asked  you 
concerning  Communists'  exploitation  of  front  groups  you  mentioned 
the  A.  F.  of  L.  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  the  A.  F.  of  L.  is  a  front  for 
the  Communist  Party? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  think  I  said  the  controlled  unions.  I  mean  by 
that  the  unions  in  the  A.  F.  of  L.  controlled  by  the  Communist  Party. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  However,  there  are  very  few  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  There  are  very  few. 

Mr.  Stpjpling.  You  didn't  mean  to  infer  the  A.  F.  of  L.  generally  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Oh,  no. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  didn't  mean  to  infer  the  CIO  generally  ? 
stands  on  communism. 

Mr.  Rushmore.  No,  sir.  The  A.  F.  of  L.  recently,  at  its  convention, 
as  did,  I  think,  the  CIO,  put  itself,  happily,  on  record  as  to  where  it 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Did  you  ever  attend  a  meeting  at  which  John  How- 
ard Lawson  and  Clarence  Hathaway  were  present  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  That  was  the  meeting  I  spoke  of,  in  late  1937  or 
early  1938,  at  which  Hathaway  was  present,  Lawson,  Jerome,  as  chair- 
man, Bob  Reed,  who  was  the  commissar  in  Actors  Equity,  an  organi- 
zation on  Broadway,  and  two  or  three  others  whose  names  I  have 
forgotten. 

Mr.  Striplix^g.  Do  you  recall  what  Lawson  said  at  this  meeting? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  He  spoke  of  a  number  of  things.  In  fact,  he  made 
a  complaint,  I  remember,  in  which  he  said,  you  comrades  feel  that  we 
can  get  anj^thing  into  a  script  that  we  want  to.  He  said,  there  are  a 
lot  of  Fascists  out  in  Hollywood  and,  he  said,  we  have  trouble  with 
them,  and  often  stuff  we  do  get  in  is  cut  out,  and  many  times  we  don't 
think  it  is  safe  to  try. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  he  say  anything  about  the  recruiting  of  new 
writers  to  be  sent  to  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  He  asked  Jerome  and  spoke  to  the  cultural  commis- 
sion and  said  that  any  new  writers,  any  novelists,  who  had  something 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  177 

published,  that  had  liad  fairly  good  reviews,  and  who  w(^]'e  either 
party  members  or  could  be  handled  by  the  party,  should  be  sent  to 
Hollywood  and  room  could  be  made  for  them. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  Did  he  discuss  the  amount  of  money  that  had  been 
raised  in  Hollywood  for  Communist  Party  purposes? 

Mr.  RrsiiMORE.  At  tliis  particuhir  meeting  they  were  talking  about 
a  quota ;  the  exact  amount  I  don't  remember,  but  when  Lawson  gave 
the  amount  he  had  raised  that  quota,  it  was  up  in  the  thousands.  I  was 
impressed  because  at  that  time  the  Daily  Worker  salaries  were  $20  a 
week — when  we  got  it — and  this  sounded  like  big  money  to  me. 

Mr.  McDoMrELL.  You  say  "when  you  got  it."  Didn't  you  always 
get  it  ? 

INIr.  RrsHMORE.  No. 

My.  Stripling.  You  were  just  "in  the  movement,"  is  that  right,  Mr. 
Rushmore  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  Mr.  Lawson  discuss  any  movies  in  his  talk  at 
this  meeting  at  the  Communist  Party  headquarters  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  don't  remember  the  name  of  any  particular  movie. 
He  did  saj'  that  the  party  in  Hollywood  had  been  successful  in  getting 
producers  to  plan  some  films  supporting  Loyalist  Spain. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Can  you  tell  the  committee  what  the  party  line  was 
regarding  the  personalities  in  the  movies?  In  other  words,  were  some 
movie  stars  plugged  and  others  panned? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Why,  the  general  party  line,  as  I  heard  it  from 
my  discussions  with  Jerome  in  his  office  over  a  period  of  3  years,  at  this 
meeting  with  Lawson,  who  same  direct  from  Hollywood,  and  other 
people  involved  in  Hollywood  activity  in  the  party,  the  general  line 
would  be  that  stars  are,  1)9  percent  of  them,  political  morons,  and  they 
added  other  uncomplimentary  things,  which  I  wouldn't  care  to  repeat, 
but  the  Communist  Party  per  se  had  great  %ontempt  for  the  movie 
stars  of  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  he  mention  any  particular  movie  star  at  the 
time  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Excuse  me  for  adding  this,  but  I  remember  Jerome 
saying,  "Their  only  use  to  the  revolution  is  their  bank  account."  That 
seems  to  sum  up  the  party  attitude. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Regarding  the  actors  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  Yes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  he  discuss  any  particular  actor  who  was  a  party 
member  ? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  At  this  particular  meeting  Jerome — no,  Lawson — 
Lawson  referred  to  Lionel  Stander  as — I  don't  remember  how  the  dis- 
cussion came  up,  it  was,  I  believe,  how  the  comrades  should  behave  in 
Hollywood,  and  what  they  shouldn't  do,  and  Lawson  cited  Stander  as 
a  perfect  example  of  how  a  Communist  should  not  act  in  Hollywood.' 

Mr.  Stripling.  Regarding  Hollywood  matters,  was  Jerome  the  boss 
or  was  Lawson  the  boss? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  It  was  a  sort  of  chain  of  command.  We  might 
call  Lawson  the  top  sergeant  out  there  in  Hollywood,  who  toolc  his 
orders  from  Jerome.  In  town  Jerome  would  take  his  orders  either 
from  Trachtenburg  or  Oerliart  Eisler,  who  was  the  Communist  In- 
ternational representative. 


178  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  any  other  party  members 
besides  Jerome  ever  went  to  Hollywood? 

Mr.  KusiTMORE.  There  was  one  instance  of  Joe  North — I  will  quote 
here  from  the  Daily  Worker  of  April  8,  1989. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Will  you  identify  Joe  North? 

Mr.  RusirMORE.  Joe  North  is  editor  of  the  New  Masses.  The  Daily 
Worker  of  that  date  says: 

Editor  Joe  North  of  the  New  Masses  has  been  visiting  in  town. 

This  story  was  under  a  Hollywood  date  line. 

He  spoke  at  the  dinner  symposium  for  the  Spanish  refugees  held  last  Sun- 
day    *     *     *_ 

That  was  about  the  time  that  I  met  Joe  North  on  the  streets  of  the 
city  and  in  talking  to  me  he  said  he  had  been  to  Hollywood.  He  said 
he  had  been  very  successful,  the  New  Masses  was  pretty  broke,  and  he 
had  raised  $20,000  in  one  week. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  In  Hollywood.  And,  looking  back  on  that,  it  is 
very  probable,  and  it  often  happened,  that  Joe  North  made  a  collec- 
tion speech  or  two  for  the  Hollywood  committee  to  aid  the  Spanish 
refugees  or  some  other  similar  allegedly  anti-Fascist  or  allegedly  anti- 
Franco  organization,  and  that  money  raised  was  taken  right  to  the 
New  JNIasses. 

He  complained,  I  remember  particularly,  about  one  star,  John  Gar- 
field. Joe  said  he  had  gone  to  Garfield — he  went  to  a  number  of  in- 
dividuals to  get  their  collection — and  he  said  Garfield  wouldn't  give 
him  any  money  and  indicated  he  didn't  want  to  at  any  time,  and  Joe 
told  me  then  "That  is  what  happens  to  our  comrades  when  they  go  to 
Hollywood."     He  described  Garfield  and  a  couple  of  others  as  dopes. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  of  any  Communist  writers  in  Holly- 
wood, yourself? 

Mr.  RusnMORE.  Well,  through  those  3  years  I  never  visited  Holly- 
wood. My  sole  meetings  were  in  New  York.  I  remember  seeing 
Clifford  Odets  a  number  of  times  at  the  Daily  Worker,  often  in  the 
evenings,  conferring  with  various  editors  of  the  paper.  I  remember 
one  meeting  I  saw  him  with  Harry  Jannis.  Harry  Jannis,  the  late 
Harry  Jannis,  was  foreign  editor  at  that  time  of  the  Daily  Worker, 
and  often  writers  and  other  people  would  meet  with  Jannis  to  get 
the  particular  party  line  on  Soviet  foreign  policy  which  they  wove 
into  whatever  they  might  have  been  writing  at  the  time. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  a  Powell  Peters  who  was  on  the  staff 
of  the  Daily  Worker  at  the  time  you  were  employed  there? 

Mr.  Rusiimore.  It  might  have  been  an  assumed  name.  They  used 
a  number  of  pseudonyms.    I  don't  remember  anyone  by  that  name. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  a  Harbord  Allen  ? 
■     Mr.  Rushmore.  Not  under  that  name. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  3'ou  know  whether  or  not  any  Hollywood  writ- 
ers contributed  articles  to  the  Daily  Worker? 

Mr.  RusiiMORE.  Well,  in  one  case  I  remember  that  Dalton  Trumbo — 
at  that  time  I  was  handling  the  magazine  section  of  the  Sunday  paper, 
and  a  member  of  the  Daily  Worker  staff  who  had  innumerable  contacts 
in  Hollywood  and  on  Broadway,  Sam  Warshawsky,  said  that  he  knew 
Trumbo  very  well,  and  that  Trumbo  would  be  glad  to  write  for  our 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  179 

magazine  section.  Sam  made  the  contact  and  Trumbo  sent  the  article 
in,  which  was  approved  and  published  in  the  Smiday  Worker  maga- 
zine section. 

In  addition  we  had  a  Hollywood  correspondent  at  that  time  by  the 
name  of  Gordon  Casson.  I  was  told  to  write  to  Cnsson  and  tell  him 
to  get  full  page  interviews  and  profiles  of  various  Hollywood  person- 
alities who  were  either  in  the  party  or  very  friendly  to  the  party. 
That  was  stressed,  that  they  had  to  be  friendly  to  the  party,  and 
perhaps  such  an  article  would  help  them  over  into  actual  membership. 
We  had  articles,  which  were  published  at  the  time,  on  James  Wong 
Howe,  the  photographer,  on  Jolm  Bright,  screen  writer,  Phillip  Dunn, 
and  a  number  of  others. 

Mr.  Stripliistg.  Did  Donald  Ogden  Stewart  ever  write  any  articles 
for  the  Daily  Worker  ? 

Mr.  RusHzsioRE.  Not  while  I  was  there.  However,  I  remember  at  a 
faction  meeting,  that  is,  at  a  meeting  of  the  Communist  Party  mem- 
bers, the  League  of  American  Writers,  Stewart  was  discussed  as  a 
president,  coming  president  for  the  organization,  and  he  was  referred 
to  by  one  of  the  members  present  as  Comrade  Stewart. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  Charlie  Chaplin? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  never  met  Mr.  Chaplin. 

Mv.  Striplixg.  Did  lie  ever  submit  any  articles  to  the  Daily  Worker  ? 

IVIr.  RusHJMORE.  No,  he  did  not ;  not  to  my  knowledge. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  the  Daily  worker  have  any  policy  regarding 
Charlie  Chaplin? 

Mr.  RusH]\roRE.  He  was  what  we  call  in  the  newspaper  business  a 
"sacred  cow." 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  do  you  mean  by  that  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  That  is  a  newspaper  phrase  which — well,  loosely, 
would  mean  someone  that  you  always  give  favorable  publicity  to  and 
a  lot  of  it. 

]Mr.  Stripling.  Were  there  any  other  sacred  cows  in  the  movie 
industry  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  I  might  in  this  connection  make  it  "sacred  red 
cows." 

Edward  G.  Robinson  would  fall  in  that  category.  We  had  a  number 
of  very  complimentary  articles  on  Robinson.  I  think  we  had  one  full- 
length  magazine  piece,  as  I  remember  it. 

Jerome  once  told  me  to  always  defend  Robinson,  even  if  he  was  in 
a  bad  picture,  with  a  bad  performance.  I  didn't  question  Jerome's 
orders  so  .1  went  ahead  and  did  that.  But  I  don't  know  whether  or 
not  Robinson  is  a  Communist.  I  have  no  knowledge  of  that.  But  10 
years  ago.  or  more,  he  started  joining  one  Communist  front  after  an- 
other, perhaps  innocently,  but  after  10  years  he  is  still  doing  it. 

I  noticed  that  last  week  in  Cleveland  there  was  a  meeting  for  the 
American  Committee  for  the  Protection  of  the  Foreign  Born.  That 
was  labeled  on  page  1  of  practically  every  newspaper  of  1948  as  a 
Communist  front  by  Attorney  General  Biddle. 

]\Ir.  Stripling.  Is  it  a  Communist  front  ? 

]\Ir.  RusHMORE.  Certainly. 

INIr.  Strlpling.  You  should  know,  having  been  a  member  of  the 
party. 

Is  the  League  of  American  Writers  a  Communist  front  ? 


180  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  It  was  founded  by  the  Communist  Party  and  at 
its  first  convention  in  May  1935,  was  addressed  by  Earl  Browder,  Mike 
Gould,  and  a  numl)er  of  other  prominent  Communists. 

I  n:^i<T:ht  add,  when  I  spoke  of  this  meetinj^  last  week,  Robinson  was 
a  sponsor  of  this  organization  10  years  after  he  started  joining  the 
others. 

And  it  is  interesting  to  note  that  among  the  other  sponsors  of  this 
Communist  front  group,  which  is  going  along,  as  of  a  week  ago,  are 
Albert  Maltz,  another  Hollywood  writer;  Howard  DeSilva,  actor; 
Howard  K.  Sorrell,  the  union  leader,  so-called,  in  Hollywood ;  Howard 
W.  Kenny,  the  attorney  in  California,  and  a  number  of  other  Holly- 
wood people. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  mentioned  that  John  Howard  Lawson  asked 
the  party  to  send  writers  to  Hollywood.  Can  you  name  some  of  the 
writers  that  you  sent  to  Hollywood  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  Well,  I  didn't  send  any  writers. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  am  sorry.  I  didn't  mean  to  infer  that  you  did. 
I  am  speaking  of  the  party. 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  That  would  be  the  job  of  the  cultural  commission 
with  Jerome  and  Trachtenburg  approving  it. 

One  writer  I  know  went  out  there,  and  I  am  sure  that' he  was  sent 
by  the  cultural  commission,  was  Alvah  Bessie,  whom  I  met  several 
times  at  the  Daily  Worker,  upon  his  return  from  Spain,  where  he  was 
a  commissar  in  the  International  Brigade  in  Spain. 

There  are  some  others  who  went  to  Hollywood,  who  were  Com- 
munists.    Albert  Maltz  I  have  named.     Michael  Blankforth. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  these  people  independently  go  to  Hollywood,  or 
did  they  have  to  have  the  permission  of  the  cultural  commission  ?  In 
other  words,  were  they  sent  there  or  did  they  go  there  on  their  own  ? 

Mr.  RusHMORE.  They  would  be  sent  there,  because  every  writer  who 
was  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  liad  to  submit  any  manuscript 
to  his  cultural  commission  for  approval  before  it  goes  to  the  publisher 
and,  therefore,  any  writer  going  to  Hollywood,  who  is  a  party  member, 
a  loyal  party  member,  would  have  to  have  the  approval  of  the  cultural 
commission. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  Clifford  Odets  ? 

Mr,  RusHMORE.  I  saw  him  at  the  Daily  Worker  several  times.  I 
might  add  that  at  the  Daily  Worker  it  was  a  hard-and-fast  rule  that 
only  party  members  trusted  by  the  party  could  get  within  the  gates. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr,  Rushmore,  are  you  familiar  with  the  flip-flop 
which  Mr.  Albert  Maltz  had  to  perform  in  the  New  ]\Iasses  for  criticiz- 
ing certain  party  strategy? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  I  followed  that  with  some  interest.  That  was  long 
after  I  left  the  Communist  Party.  But  it  indicated  how  complete 
this  control  is  over  a  wi^er  who  still  stays  within  the  ranks.  Maltz 
came  out  with  only  a  minor  criticism  of  a  particular  party  policy,  and 
he  was  blasted  for  several  weeks  by  various  Communist  editors  and 
some  Communist  writers.  He  was  forced  to  recant  completely  and 
apologize.^^ 

Mi\  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at  this  time,  Mr. 
Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood  ? 


"  See  pp.  152-162. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  181 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail  ? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Rushmore,  did  you  name  the  Epworth  League 
as  a  Communist  front? 

Mr.  Rushmore.  No,  no.  They  had  influence  in  a  couple  of  Epworth 
Leagues  in  New  York.  I  knew  that  because  one  girl  on  the  Daily 
Worker  had  been  ordered  to  join  an  Epworth  League  and  in  about 
a  month  she  had  that  league  under  that  control  and  it  adopted  all  sorts 
of  resolutions.     They  are  wonderful  organizers. 

]Mr.  McDowell.  I  think  I  was  a  dues-paying  member  of  that  at  one 
time. 

The  ChxVirman.  You  belonged  to  a  good  organization. 

]Mr.  Rushmore,  This  was  one  small  branch  of  one  church,  I  might 
add. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Rushmore. 

The  Chairman,  Is  ]Mr.  Morrie  Ryskind  in  the  audience? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Yes. 

The  Cpiairman.  All  right,  Mr.  Stripling,  put  on  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Morrie  Ryskind, 

The  Chairman,  Raise  your  right  hand,  please,  Mr,  Ryskind,  do 
you  solemnly  swear  to  tell  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing 
but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  So  help  me  God. 

The  Chairman,  Sit  down,  please,  , 

TESTIMONY  OF  MORRIE  RYSKIND 

Mr,  Stripling,  Mr,  Ryskind,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address,  please? 

Mr,  Ryskind,  Morrie  Ryskind,  605  North  Hillcrest  Road,  Beverly 
Hills,  Calif, 

Mr,  Stripling,  When  and  where  were  your  born,  Mr,  Ryskind? 

Mr,  Ryskind,  New  York  City,  October  20,  1895, 

INIr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  am  a  writer, 

Mr,  Stripling.  ]Mr,  Chairman,  the  questions  for  Mr,  Ryskind  will 
be  asked  by  Mr,  Smith. 

jNIr,  Smith.  Mr.  Ryskind,  how  long  have  you  been  a  writer? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Oh,  I  would  say  about  25  years  or  so, 

Mr.  Smith.  How  do  you  spell  your  last  name,  please,  Mr.  Ryskind? 

]\fr.  Ryskind.  R-y-s-k-i-n-d. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  in  the  past  20  or  25  years  as  a  writer,  what  has 
been  the  nature  of  your  writings? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  have  written  for  both  the  stage  and  the  screen, 

Mr,  Smith,  As  a  matter  of  fact,  Mr.  Ryskind,  I  believe  you  were 
the  writer  of  Of  Thee  I  Sing  and  The  Louisiana  Purchase,  is  that 
correct  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Yes,  and  a  couple  of  flops  in  between,  which  I  am 
glad  you  didn't  mention. 


182  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Smith.  Well,  actually  I  believe  you  received  the  Pulitzer  Prize 
for  Of  Thee  I  Sing,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  That  is  ri^ht,  together  with  my  collaborators  George 
S.  Kaufman,  who  wrote  the  book,  and  Ira  Gershwin,  who  wrote  the 
lyrics. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Ryskind,  how  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

JNIr.  Ryskixd.  About  a  dozen  years  or  so. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  during  the  time  that  you  have  been. there,  what 
have  your  activities  consisted  of? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Writing  for  the  screen. 

Mr.  Smith.  During  that  particular  time,  have  you  had  an  oppor- 
tunity to  observe  whether  or  not  there  is  any  Communist  infiltration 
in  the  motion-picture  industry  or  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Well,  I  would  say  that  you  would  have  to  be  deaf, 
dumb,  and  blind  not  to  observe  those  activities.  The  fact  is,  as 
Rupert  Hughes  said  yesterday,  that  even  if  you  lost  all  of  those  and 
still  kept  your  nose  the  odor  would  tell  you. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  would  you  say  these  activities  consisted  of,  Mr. 
Ryskind  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  It  would  almost  be  easier  to  tell  3'ou  the  activities 
thej  didn't  take  part  in.  I  would  divide  them  roughly  into  two  groups : 
First,  the  general  commie  fronts  for  suckers;  and  then,  secondly,  the 
effort  to  take  over  the  different  guilds  and  crafts  in  the  movie  industry. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  give  us  some  examples  of  those?  Are  you 
familiar  with  the  League  Against  War  and  Fascism  and  its  history? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Yes,  I  am  very  well  familiar  with  that.  That  was 
one  of  the  fronts  that  my  wife  joined.  My  wife  has  a  ver}'^  keen 
i^iterest  in  civil  liberties,  as  I  think  I  have.  She  went  to  a  meeting 
one  day  and  came  back  and  told  me  she  had  joined  this  League  Against 
War  and  Fascism,  I  believe  it  was  called.  I  looked  over  the  list  of 
names  on  it  and  said,  "This  looks  to  me  like  a  commie  front."  She 
said,  ''Why,  the  organization  meeting  I  went  to  spoke  only  about 
civil  liberties.  You  believe  in  that,  don't  you?"  I  said,  "Yes,  but  I 
am  not  sure  the  commies  on  this  list  do." 

In  about  3  weeks  she  resigned..  She  came  to  me  and  said,  "You 
were  right;  they  are  interested  in  civil  liberties,  but  only  for  Com- 
munists, not  for  Americans." 

Shortly  after  that,  the  league  was  exposed  as  a  Communist  front. 
It  changed  its  name — a  typical  Communist  trick — to,  I  think  first  it 
was  The  League  Against  War  and  Fascism  and  then  it  became  The 
League  for  jPeace  and  Democracy,  another  noble-sounding  name. 
Then,  when  that  was  exposed,  I  think  at  tlie  time  of  the  Hitler-Russian 
pact,  the}'  called  it  The  League  for  War  Against  Fascism.  Now,  mind 
you,  this  started  as  the  League  Against  War  and  Fascism.  It  now  be- 
came a  League  for  War  Against  Fascism.  I  don't  know  what  its 
})resent  name  is.  if  it  is  still  in  existence — probably  the  "League  to 
Get  Americans  Out  of  Greece  and  Henry  Wallace  into  the  White 
House,"  I  wouldn't  know. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  about  the  League  of  American  Writers,  Mr. 
Ryskind? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Well,  that  is  another  one  I  know  about. 

By  the  way.  I  just  want  to  say  one  thing  in  fairness  to  her.  My 
wife  arrived  here  today  and  I  want  to  say  that  joining  that  league 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  183 

was  the  only  mistake  she  has  ever  made  in  the  18  years  we  have  been 
married. 

The  league — what  was  that  now  ? 

Mr.  Smith.  The  League  of  American  Writers. 

Mr.  RviSKiND.  The  League  of  American  Writers ;  I  remember  I  was 
asked  to  join  that.  I  had  already  belonged  to  the  Authors  League. 
This  looked  to  me  like  a  political  front  and  I  saw  no  reason  to  join  it. 
That  was  later  exposed  as  a  Communist  front.  I  think  Donald  Ogden 
Stewart  at  a  meeting  of  the  league  got  up  and  said  publicly,  "Com- 
munism does  not  need  American  writers,  but  American  writers  do  need 
communism."  That  is  Donald  Ogden  Stewart's  opinion  and  not  mine 
that  I  am  giving,  of  course. 

Then  later  on,  I  want  to  say,  I  remember  John  Dos  Passos,  one  of 
our  best  American  writers 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  spell  that,  please? 

Mr.  Ryskixd.  John — J-o-h-n,  Dos — D-o-s,  Passos — P-a-s-s-o-s. 
Mr.  John  Dos  Passos  received  an  award  from  the  league,  I  think  in 
his  first  year,  as  one  of  our  great  American  writers.  But  the  next 
year  he  made  a  mistake.  He  wrote  an  article  attacking  communism. 
He  was  promptly  denounced  by  the  league.  I  don't  know  whether 
he  got  the  award  back  or  not.  They  went  pretty  well  for  a  time.  To 
my  knowledge,  then  even  got  President  Roosevelt  to  agree  to  be  a 
member.  A  friend  of  mine,  Dr.  Sidney  Hook,  of  New  York  Univer- 
sity, called  up  the  White  House,  informed  them  of  the  nature  of  the 
league,  and  the  President's  membership  was  withdrawn  and  all  pub- 
licity on  that  was  withheld. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  there  any  other  organizations  such  as  the  Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi  League  that  you  are  familiar  with? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  am  familiar  with  so  man3^ 

Oh,  I  think,  in  all  fairness,  since  I  told  one  on  which  my  wife  was 
victimized,  I  ought  to  tell  about  one  in  which  I  was  victimized.  Let 
us  even  this  up.  These  different  commie  fronts — well,  the  Repub- 
lican Part}^  and  the  Democratic  Party  I  think  are  very  bigoted  because 
they  get  money  mainly  from  Republicans'  or  Democrats.  Now,  the 
Communist  has  so  skillfully  devised  it  that  he  gets  money  not  only 
from  Communists  but  from  non-Communists  through  these  fronts,  a 
suggestion  which  I  recommend  to  the  other  parties. 

For  example,  let  us  take  the  Scottsboro  case.  Like  most  Americans' 
who  think  they  are  liberals,  I  read  the  account  of  the  case  and  it  seemed 
to  me  that  the  colored  boys  in  the  case  would  not  get  a  square  deal 
unless  the}^  had  better  representation  than  I  thought  was  coming  to 
them.  I  am  sure  a  good  many  Americans  thought  the  same  tiling, 
rightly  or  wrongly.  I  found  out  afterward  that  the  money — they 
collected  an  awful  lot  of  money — a  good  part  of  that  money,  went  into 
the  hands  of  the  Daily  Worker.  My  authority  for  that  last  state- 
ment is  Mr.  ]\Iorris  Ernst,  who  was  my  attorney  when  I  was  in  New 
York,  and  I  think  3'ou  can  get  further  confirmation  from  Mr.  Roger 
Baldwin  of  the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union. 

I  have  one  more  incident  about  being  victimized,  again  due  to  the 
fact  that  I  thought  I  was  a  liberal.  That  was  the  Tom  Mooney  case. 
If  you  remember,  John  Finerty  carried  that  to  the  Supreme  Court. 
A  lot  of  us  thought  that  since  the  members  of  the  original  jury  who 
were  still  alive  said  that  if  they  had  had  the  evidence  before  them,  the 
new  evidence  before  them,  they  would  not  have  convicted  Mooney — I 


184  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

felt  that  I  ought  to  chi])  in  to  get  Mr.  Mooney  a  new  trial  in  California. 
I  got  together  several  linndred  dollars,  by  getting  some  of  my  friends 
to  chip  in  with  me.     This  was  at  Mr.  P^inerty's  request. 

Some  time  after  that,  a  group  of  people  came  to  the  house  and  said 
they  had  heard  I  had  been  collecting  money,  showed  me  their  cre- 
dentials and  I  gave  them  the  money.  About  a  week  later,  Mr.  Finerty 
arrived  in  California,  and  my  wife  and  I  met  him  at  the  airport.  We 
had  dinner  together,  and  I  very  proudly  told  him  of  the  several  hun- 
dred dollars  I  collected  and  told  him  I  had  given  it  to  them,  where- 
upon Mr.  Finerty  almost  fainted.  He  said,  "My  God,  you  have  given 
that  money  to  the  Communists.  They  don't  want  to  get  Mooney  out 
of  jail.     Their  whole  object  is  to  keep  him  in  jail." 

There  were  two  instances  in  which  I  was  victimized. 

Now,  I  would  like  just  to  ask  one  thing:  When  an  ordinary  crook 
who  is  not  a  Communist — and  we  have  some  of  those — sells  you  a  bill 
of  goods  and  misappropriates  the  mone}^  you  have  a  chance  to  investi- 
gate him,  prosecute  him  and  send  him  to  jail,  and  everybody  says, 
"Fine."  But  if  the  crook  is  a  Communist  who  sells  you  one  bill  of 
goods — let  us  say  milk  to  starving  Bulgarians  or  the  freeing  of  inno- 
cent prisoners — and  then  doesn't  deliver,  of  course  you  mustn't  then 
say  anything  about  it,  because  you  are  interfering  with  civil  rights 
and,  as  I  see  by  the  Daily  Worker  here,  Senator  Pepper  will  bawl 
you  out  for  it. 

Mr.  Smith.  It  has  been  your  experience,  then,  that  these  front  or- 
ganizations attempt  to  use  the  people  connected  as  writers  or  other- 
wise in  the  motion-picture  industry  as  examples  here  where  they  have 
attempted  even  to  use  you ;  is  that  correct  ?  • 

Mr.  Ryskind.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Sjiith.  What  experience  have  you  had  so  far  as  the  guilds  and 
unions  themselves  are  concerned?  In  other  words,  are  you  a  member 
of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild,  Mr.  Ryskind  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  No  ;  but  I  was  a  member. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  were  you  a  member,  and  during  what  period? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  When  I  came  to  Hollywood  in  1935  or  '36  I  had  been 
a  member  of  the  Dramatists  Guild  in  New  York  and  of  the  Authors 
League.  There  was  a  fight  on,  apparently,  to  recognize  this  guild. 
Believing  in  collective  bargaining,  I  saw  no  reason  why  writers 
shouldn't  have  a  guild,  as  actors  have.  I  fought  for  the  guild.'  After 
the  Wagner  Act  the  guild  was  recognized  and  I  was  made  a  member 
of  the  board  of  directors.  We  had  roughly  some  15  members  on  the 
board.  Now,  you  have  got  to  realize  that  most  of  us  who  are  Ameri- 
cans are  not  used  much  to  political  trickery.  Here  we  were,  15,  and 
we  thought  everybody  was  in  there  pitching  for  the  good  of  the  guild. 
We  found  after  a  while — we  were  very  naive — that  about  7  of  the  15 
voted  together  on  every  doggone  question  that  came  up.  The  question 
didn't  have  to  be  important.  Whether  the  question  was  whether  the 
next  meeting  should  be  on  Friday,  or  whether  we  should  ask  the  pro- 
ducers for  better  terms,  it  was  always  the  same,  with  the  result  that 
these  seven,  although  they  constituted  a  minority,  won  every  point. 
The  rest,  being  Americans,  would  normally  divide  on  any  question. 

Mr.  Smith.  Was  that  in  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  ?         / 

Mr.  Ryskin.  That  was  in  the  Screen  Writers  Guild. 

Mr.  Smith.  Approximately  when? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  In  193(),  right  after  its  recognition  in  1936. 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  185 

Mr.  Smith.  Were  there  individuals  on  the  board  of  directors  of 
the  Screen  Writers  Guild  at  any  time  that  you  know  were  Commu- 
nists— members  of  the  liarty  or  fellow  travelers? 

Mr.  Eyskind.  Yes.  It  was  very  evident  to  us  that  the  group  that 
formed  the  caucus  were  members  of  the  party  and  followed  the  party 
line. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  many  people  are  there  on  the  board  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  don't  know  what  goes  on  now,  but  as  I  remember 
there  were  15  people  on  the  board. 

Mr.  Smith.  That  was  approximately  when  ? 

Mr.  Kyskind.  1936. 

Mr.  Smith.  Fifteen  people  on  the  board.     Very  well. 

Mr.  Eyskind.  On  the  executive  board.  As  I  say,  some  of  these  fol- 
lowed the  party  line. 

Mr.  Smith.  Some  of  them  followed  the  party  line  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  recall  any  particular  election  at  that  time? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  can  remember  the  subsequent  election  very  well. 
We  didn't  like  it,  when  we  discovered  that  seven  people  had  voted 
together  on  everything.     We  said,  "Let  us  caucus." 

Mr.  Smith.  By  "we,"  who  do  you  mean,  Mr.  Ryskind  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  mean  the  other  eight. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  see.     Proceed. 

Mr.  Ryskind.  What  we  decided  to  do — as  I  say,  it  took  almost  a 
year  to  find  this  out 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  talk  just  a  little  louder,  and  into  the  micro- 
phone, please. 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  am  sorry.  The  following  year  we  decided  to  get  up 
our  own  slates,  in  other  words,  to  remove  what  we  felt  was  a  Com- 
munist faction  in  the  guild.  We  got  up  our  own  slate  of  15,  and  we 
did  what  they  had  been  doing.  We  got  out.  We  electioneered.  We 
campaigned.  We  had,  going  into  the  meeting,  the  election  meeting 
that  night,  a  substantial  majority — I  would  say  3  to  1.  Our  secretary, 
who  was  a  very  active  worker,  having  learned  something  from  the 
Commies,  had  in  his  pocket  500  proxies,  which  I  think  would  have  been 
enough  to  win  the  election  if  everybody  there  had  voted  the  other  way. 

Mr.  Smith.  At  that  particular  time,  who  were,  to  the  best  of  your 
recollection,  the  people  on  the  board  ?  Can  you  name  the  seven  mem- 
bers that  you  thought  were  communistic  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  will  try  to,  although  I  may  confuse  one  here  with 
another.    Let  me  try  to  do  it. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith,  I  would  suggest  that  in  view  of  the 
uncertainty  in  the  mind  of  the  witness  he  supply  the  committee,  for 
the  record,  with  these  names.  I  don't  want  him  to  make  any  mis- 
statement. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  supply  us  with  those  names  at  a  later  date,  Mr. 
Ryskind? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Yes ;  I  can. 

Mr.  Smith.  Very  well.  I  ask  that  the  names  there  be  withdrawn 
from  the  record  and  that  a  list  be  supplied  later. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  proceed  and  tell  how  that  election  took  place? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Wlien  we  went  in  that  night,  as  I  say,  there  were 
two  slates  to  be  presented.    This  had  become  known  to  everybody  in 


186  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Hollywood.  It  was  common  talk  that  the  moderates  had  gotten  up  a 
slate  of  their  own  to  try  to  defeat  the  leftists. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  you  were  attempting  to  get  control  back 
of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  at  that  time? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Smith.  Very  well. 

Mr.  Ryskixd.  I  urged  Mr.  Charley  Brackett,  a  very  well-known 
writer 

Mr.  Smith.  He  was  the  then  president? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  He  was  the  then  president  of  the  guild.  I  said  to  Mr. 
Brackett,  "Let's  watch  for  the  trick  tonight.  I  know  the  Communists 
don't  give  up  easily.  There  must  be  a  trick."  He  said,  "Look,  we've 
got  the  votes  in  our  pocket.    What  are  you  worried  about?" 

I  said,  "Just  watch  for  the  trick."  We  came  into  the  meeting.  Mr. 
Brackett  made  his  speech,  in  which  he  said  that  this  was — the  usual 
political  speech — a  very  healthy  indication  in  the  guild  that  this  year 
there  were  two  tickets  from  which  the  members  could  choose,  and  he 
offered  those  tickets  on  the  floor. 

Now,  at  that  moment,  Lester  Cole  got  up 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  identify  Lester  Cole? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Lester  Cole  is  a  member  of  the  guild.  I  am  not  certain 
whether  he  was  on  the  board  then  or  not. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  he  a  writer? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  He  is  a  writer,  a  writer  at  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  I 
think  Mr.  Mayer  identified  him. 

Mr.  Smith.  As  of  now  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Yes ;  as  of  now.  I  don't  know  where  he  was  at  that 
time.  Mr.  Cole  pulled,  I  think,  a  very  skillful  political  trick.  It  was 
a  beautiful  one  and  I  repeat  it  bitterly,  but  my  hat  is  off  to  him  for 
that.  ,He  got  up  and  said,  "Look" — he  pulled  the  Communist  cry — 
"Let's  not  split  among  ourselves.  We  have  only  one  enemy — the 
producers.  Any  fight  among  ourselves  will  be  welcomed  by  the 
producers. 

Now,  they  had  beautifull}^  done,  at  different  intervals,  this  maneu- 
ver— four  or  five  men,  all  commies,  springing  up  all  around  the  hall 
and  saying,  "Hurray,  hurray,  hurray."  One  of  them  I  recognized  as 
a  member  not  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild,  but  as  a  Communist  who 
was  in  the  furniture  business.  How  he  got  there  I  don't  know.  That 
was  their  business.  But  he  was  cheering  as  loud  as  anybody,  I  can 
assure  you.  They  kept  yelling  and  cheering.  It  was  like  a  political 
parade,  at  least  those  I  have  seen  staged  in  the  movies.  Our  own 
members  began  doing  it.  Mr.  Brackett  was  up  there.  I  said,  "Never 
mind  their  yelling.  That  is  a  trick.  Get  the  vote."  "Look,  our  own 
members  are  doing  it."    I  said,  "Never  mind.    Get  the  vote." 

Brackett  said,  "I  can't.  Our  own  members  are  doing  it."  The  thing 
was  accepted,  not  unanimously,  because  I  yelled  against  it  to  the 
very  last. 

That  night  the  commies  held  a  celebration.  In  other  words,  they 
held  the  seven  members  over  for  another  year.  Mr.  Brackett  heard 
about  it  and  the  next  morning  he  apologized,  but  I  submit  it  was  too 
late. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  througli  that  means  they  were  able  to 
continue  their  control  for  the  next  year  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  They  were  able  to  continue  those  seven  men.    And  I 


COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  187 

would  say  from  that  time  on  they  had  taken  over  the  Guild,  slowly  but 
surely  "jetting  more  Connnunist  members  on  the  board.  I  finally  got 
out  in  about  1942.  I  just  tired  of  paying  dues  to  an  institution  that 
didn't  represent  me. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  other  words,  it  is  your  opinion  that  the  Screen 
Writers  Guild  is  controlled  and  dominated  by  Communists? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  would  say  that  today,  under  the  leadership  of  Mr. 
Emmett  La  very,  the  guild  is  completely  controlled  by  the  Communists. 
I  think  that  is  proven  by  the  publication,  The  Screen  Writer,  which 
is  edited  by  Mr.  Gordon  Kahn. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  know  Mr.  Gordon  Kahn  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  do.  We  don't  agree  politically.  Mr.  Kahn  hap- 
pens to  be  a  neighbor  of  mine.  In  fact,  he  bought  the  house  next  door 
to  me.  We  don't  talk;  but  he  is  very  pleasant  to  my  children;  I  am 
pleasant  to  his ;  our  dogs  are  very  good  friends.     That  is  all. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  your  opinion,  is  Gordon  Kahn  a  Communist  or  a 
fellow  traveler? 

Mr.  Ryskixd.  Well,  this  will  not  increase  neighborly  relations,  but 
that  is  my  opinion. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  mentioned  Mr.  Cole.  What  is  your  opinion  as  to 
whether  or  not  he  is  a  Communist  or  fellow  traveler  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Well,  if  Lester  Cole  isn't  a  Communist,  I  don't  think 
Mahatma  Gandhi  is  an  Indian. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  have  any  suggestions  that  you  would  like  to 
offer  for  the  consideration  of  the  committee  as  to  how  this  problem  in 
Hollywood  should  be-  dealt  with,  or  in  other  places  ? 

Mr.  Ryskind.  I  don't  know.  I  realize  fully  the  tough  job  that  you 
have.  I  think  we  all  believe  in  and  want  to  protect  our  civil  liberties. 
I  see  the  danger.  But  I  also  feel  that  we  didn't  get  the  Bill  of  Rights 
in  order  to  protect  quislings.  And  I  think  if  we  are  going  to  spend 
$12,000,000,000,  or  whatever  it  is,  to  contain  the  Communists  in 
Greece,  we  ought  to  spend  at  least  a  couple  of  bucks  over  here  and  do 
something  about  that.  What  good  is  there  doing  it  over  there  and  not 
getting  rid  of  it  here? 

Look,  I  wouldn't  want  a  bill  that  would  hurt  the  political  expression 
of  any  Arnerican,  but  I  think  it  has  been  proved  beyond  any  doubt  that 
the  American  Communist  Party  is  not  an  American  Communist  Party. 
If  it  were,  I  am  afraid  I  would  be  sucker  enough  to  defend  its  right  to 
speak  and  to  preach,  but  it  has  been  proven  it  isn't.  It  is  an  agent  of 
a  foreign  government,  as  the  Bulgarian  Communist  Party  is,  as  the 
Korean  Communist  Party  is,  as  the  German  Communist  Party  is.  It 
seems  to  me  that  by  this  time,  beyond  any  shadow  of  doubt,  we  have 
proven  it.  And  I  don't  believe  it  is  up  to  us  to  protect  the  rights  of 
quislings  against  the  rights  of  American  citizens,  because  they  do  assail 
our  rights.  They  use  the  techniques  of  character  assassination,  and 
if  they  ever  get  control  of  the  screen  or  of  the  country,  it  won't  be 
just  characters  they  will  assassinate. 

I  don't  know  just  how  you  can  do  it,  but  I  do  think  it  is  your  problem 
and  I  hope  to  God  you  do  it. 

I  do  also  think — this  may  not  be  pertinent  to  you,  but  I  think — 
would  you  mind  very  much  if  I  made  a  suggestion  to  the  producers? 

The  CHAiR:vrAN.  Well,  I  don't  think  you  should  do  that.  I  think  you 
should  let  well  enough  alone. 

Mr.  Ryskind.  You  think  I  have  done  enough,  all  right. 


188  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION  PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

The  only  trouble  is  the  producers  won't  listen  to  me. 

The  Chairman.  We  will  make  the  proper  suggestion. 

Mr.  Smith.  That  is  all. 

The  Chaieman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  CiiAiR^tAN.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail,.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

Mr.  Rtskind.  All  right. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Ryskind.^° 

Mr.  Ryskind.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  it  is  now  25  minutes  to  four.  If  you 
would  like  another  witness,  we  are  prepared  to  put  on  another  witness. 
However,  I  suggest  we  recess  now. 

The  Chairman.  I  think  we  better  recess  now  until  tomorrow. 

Mr.  Stripling.  All  right. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  would  like  to  make  an  announcement. 
We  are  getting  slightly  behind  with  our  witnesses.  In  addition  to  the 
witnesses  we  announced  last  night  might  be  witnesses  today  and  who 
were  not  witnesses,  we  will  also  try  to  have  as  witnesses  tomorrow  Mr. 
Ronald  Reagan,  Mr.  Robert  Montgomery,  Mr.  George  Murphy,  and 
Mr.  Gary  Cooper. 

The  meeting  is  adjourned. 

(Whereupon,  at  4:  35  p.  m.,  an  adjournment  was  taken.) 

"  See  appendix,  p.  530,  for  exhibit  41. 


HEARINGS  REaARDING  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTRATION 
OF  THE  MOTION-PICTURE  INDUSTRY 


THURSDAY,   OCTOBER   23,    1947 

House  of  Representatives, 
Committee  on  Un-Ajvierican  AcTrvrriES, 

Washington^  D.  C. 

The  committee  met  at  10:  30  i\.  m.,  Hon.  J.  Parnell  Thomas  (chair- 
man) presiding. 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order. 

The  record  will  show  that  Mr.  McDowell,  ^Mr.  Vail,  ^Mr.  Nixon  and 
Mr.  Thomas  are  present.    A  subcommittee  is  sitting. 

Mr.  Stripling,  the  first  witness. 

Staff  members  present :  Mr.  Robert  E.  Stripling,  chief  investigator, 
Messrs.  Louis  J.  Russell,  H.  A.  Smith,  and  Robert  B.  Gaston,  investi- 
gators, and  Mr.  Benjamin  Mandel,  director  of  research. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Fred  Niblo. 

The  Ciiair:max.  Everybody  please  be  seated. 

Mr.  Niblo,  do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to 
give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help 
you  God? 

Mr.  NiHLO.  I  do. 

The  CiiATPJMAN.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  FRED  NIBLO,  JR. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  are  Mr.  Fred  Niblo,  Jr.? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Smith.  Spell  your  last  name,  please,  Mr.  Niblo. 

Mr.  NiHLo.  N-i-b-1-o. 

Mr.  SiiiTii.  And  where  do  you  live? 

Mr.  Nip.LO.  1927  Rodney  Drive,  Los  Angeles,  Calif. 

Mr.  Smith.  Where  and  when  were  you  born,  Mr.  Niblo? 

Mr.  Niblo.  New  York  City,  Januaiy  23,  1903. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  have  you  lived  in  Hollywood,  Mr.  Niblo? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Oh,  approximately  20  years. 

Mr.  SiiiTH.  How  long  have  you  been  connected  with  the  motion- 
picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Almost  the  same  length  of  time — 19  years. 

]\Ir.  Smith.  Are  you  a  professional  writer  ? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  how  long  have  you  been  a  professional  writer? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Seventeen  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  During  that  period  of  time  you  have  worked  for  and 
with  what  studios? 

67683 — 47 13  1  §9 


190  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Practically  all  of  them. 

Mr.  Smith.  Could  you  name  some  of  them  that  you  have  worked 
with? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Warner  Bros.,  Twentieth  Century-Fox,  Metro-Goldwyn- 
Mayer,  Columbia,  RKO. 

Mr.  Smith.  At  the  present  time,  whom  are  you  empk)yed  by  ? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  I  am  employed  by  Eagle  Lion  Studios  at  the  pregent 
time. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  have  you  been  a  member  of  the  Screen  Writ- 
ers Guild  ? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  I  belonged  to  the  old  guild  prior  to  its  inactivation  in 
19?)6.    The  revived  or  reactivated  guild  I  belonged  to  6  or  7  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  During  the  time  that  you  have  been  associated  with  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild  and  a  writer  in  Hollywood,  have  you  at  any  time 
observed  anything  that  you  would  feel  is  communistic  influence  in  the 
guild,  the  Screen  Writers  Guild? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  Very  definitely. 

Mr.  Smith.  Would  you  explain  why  you  arrived  at  that  conclusion 
and  how  ? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  I  noticed  this  very  definitely — in  fact,  I  am  convinced — 
that  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  has  been  the  spark  plug  and  the  spear- 
head of  the  Communist  influence  and  infiltration  in  Hollywood. 

I  would  like  to  preface  this  with  a  statement.  There  is  a  sense  in 
which  I  hate  to  spout  these  decisions,.  This  is  my  guild.  I  believe  in 
the  guild  as  such.  I  think  we  should  have  a  guild  out  there.  And 
there  is  no  denying  that  this  guild  has  done  some  economic  good  for 
the  working  writers.  But  my  testimony  wouldn't  be  complete  unless 
I  also  took  note  of  the  group  of  moderates  which  has  been  formed, 
the  moderate  movement  which  has  boiled  up  in  the  guild  in  the  last 
15  months  and  which  is  endeavoring  to  wrest  some  of  the  control  from 
the  Communist  faction  and  which  has  already  succeeded  in  instituting 
some  reforms. 

I  might  say  that  Mr.  Emmett  Lavery  has  associated  himself  with 
this  moderate  movement. 

However,  if  you  want  me  to  elaborate  on  what  influence  I  saw — I 
hesitated  to  join  the  guild  in  the  first  place.  I  had  been  around  Holly- 
wood long  enough  to  loiow  that  it  was  in  control  of  John  Howard 
Lawson  and  company,  and  I  didn't  want  to  tangle  with  those  men.  I 
didn't  want  to  be  involved  in  a  fight.  I  held  out  as  long  as  I  could,  but 
eventually  I  had  to  join  the  guild. 

As  soon  as  I  got  in,  the  suspicions  I  had  of  that  kind  of  leadership 
were  confirmed.  I  found  that  some  of  those  characters  whose  names 
have  been  mentioned  here  throughout  this  testimony  were  in  virtual 
control  of  the  guild.  They  held  the  offices — not  all  of  the  offices,  but 
most  of  them.  They  were  the  floor  whips,  so  to  speak — the  majority. 
They  were  the  obvious  leaders  of  the  guild. 

That  is  one  of  the  evidences  that  I  adduce.  Another  one  is  the  fact 
that  I  had  no  sooner  gotten  in  the  guild  when  I  began  receiving  things. 
I  wondered  where  they  got  my  name  and  address,  for  their  mailing 
lists.  Announcements  from  outfits  with  names  such  as  the  League 
for  the  Promotion  of  American-Russian  Friendship.  May  I  say  this 
was  discontinued  very  quickly.    This  is  some  years  ago.    Some  other 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  191 

people  complained  about  the  same  thing,  and  we  had  no  more  trouble 
about  it. 

Now,  I  have  some  notes,  if  you  want  me  to  refer  to  them. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Niblo,  were  you  ever  attacked  by  the  guild  or  in  the 
guild  for  anj'  articles  that  you  wrote? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Yes;  I  have  been  attacked  by  the  guild  several  times. 

Mr.  Smith,  Because  of  your  anti-Communist  activity  ? 

Mr,  NiBLO.  For  no  other  reason. 

Mr,  Smith.  And  will  you  explain? 

Mr,  Niblo.  The  first  time  that  I  felt  I  was  pretty  badly  smeared  was 
shortly  after  I  joined  the  Motion  Picture  Alliance  for  the  Preservation 
of  American  Ideals,  Shortly  after  that  a  two-page  paid  advertise- 
ment appeared  in  our  Hollywood  trade  press  linking  me  and  some 
others  up  by  name  with  a  political  figure  who  was  unpopular  in  Holly- 
wood at  the  time,  Senator  Reynolds,  For  better  or  for  worse,  I  never 
had  any  connection  with  the  Senator  in  one  way  or  another.  This 
was  intended  as  a  smear.  This  is  a  technicality,  but  the  ad  was 
actually  taken  by  the  Hollywood  Writers  Mobilization,  which  was 
linked,  in  an  interlocking  connection,  with  the  guild. 

Our  organization,  the  Motion  Picture  Alliance,  was  practically  put 
on  trial  before  the  guild  some  time  later.  While  they  made  no  attempt 
to  discipline  those  of  us  who  were  members  of  the  guild,  nevertheless 
the  whole  atmosphere  suggested  a  Moscow  purge  trial, 

I  remember  that  one  character  jumped  up  from  the  floor  and — Sam 
Wood  had  previously  made  the  mistake  of  saying.  "We  are  Americans." 
This  character  wanted  to  know  what  we  meant  by  calling  ourselves 
Americans,  That  has  been  the  whole  atmosphere  for  years  in  that 
guild, 

I  no  sooner  got  into  it  than  I  found  strike  talk  going  on.  This  strike 
talk  was  not  necessarily  Communist  itself,  I  believe  they  were  nego- 
tiating with  the  producers,  who  may  have  been  proving  difficult.  I  do 
remember  a  dialogue  between  John  Howard  Lawson  and  Boris  Ingster. 
To  some  people  it  sounded  very  fishy,  as  though  it  had  been  rehearsed 
in  caucus 

Mr.  McDowell.  Do  you  remember  who  it  was  who  said,  "Wliat  do 
you  mean  we  are  Americans?" 

Mr.  Niblo,  I  don't  remember  his  name,  so  I  can't  identify  him  any 
further.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  he  was  a  French  national  himself. 
He  might  have  been  an  American  citizen.  He  seems  to  be  very  much 
left  wing,  but  T  can't  think  of  his  name  offhand. 

Again,  as  far  as  attacks  are  concerned,  this  represents  to  my  mind 
something  of  an  attack.  I  made  two  efforts  to  get  the  roster  of  tlip 
guild,  frankly,  to  electioneer  in  order  to  turn  out  this  same  moderate 
group  which  is  now  formed.  A  couple  of  years  ago,  up  to  15  montlis 
ago.  the  solid  Americans  in  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  were  staying 
away  from  meetings  through  apathy  and  disgust  and  even  through 
psychological  intimidation,  I  wanted  to  break  that  up.  I  made  two 
electioneering  efforts.  I  requested  the  executive  committee  to  give  me 
a  roster,  a  list  of  my  fellow  members,  and  they  refused  to  do  so — 
once  in  July  1944  and  once  in  February  of  1945. 

Finally,  I  was  attacked  in  the  official  publication  of  the  Screen 
AVriters  Guild,  called  The  Screen  Writer,  in  the  column  Letters  to  the 
Editor,  public  forum.  Afr.  Garrett  Graham,  whom  I  am  sure  is  not  a 
Communist,  wrote  a  letter  in  which  he  criticized  me.    Also  there  is  a 


192  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

slightly  obscene  reference  in  it.  It  was  quite  a  lengthy  letter.  I  felt 
as  though  I  should  answer  it.  I  felt  I  should  enlighten  Mr.  Graham 
about  some  of  the  things  I  had  seen  going  on  in  the  guild  while  he 
was  in  the  Marine  Corps.  I  paid  my  respects  to  Lawson,  Cole,  and 
company — rather,  my  disrespect 

Mr.  Smith.  Who  is  Mr.  Cole? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  I  identify  him  as  Lester  Cole.  I  believe  he  is  now  vice 
president  of  the  guild.    He  has  been  a  leader  of  it  for  some  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  is  your  opinion  of  Mr.  Cole  as  to  whether  or  not 
he  follows  the  Conmiunist  Party  line  in  his  activities  ? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  It  is  my  opinion  that  he  definitely  does. 

Mr.  Smith.  Very  well,  proceed  with  this  letter. 

Mr.  NiBLo.  In  this  letter  I  was  attacked.  I  was  criticized.  It  was 
the  public-forum  column.  I  felt  I  had  a  right  to  write  another  letter 
defending  myself  and  attacking  my  attackers  and  also  refuting  the 
point  that  my  opponents  had  made.  I  also  am  a  subscriber  to  the 
Screen  Writer  ipso  facto,  because  I  am  a  member  of  the  guild.  My 
letter  they  refused  to  print.  They  refused  to  print  it  on  the  ground 
that  it  didn't  make  for  unity,  or  something.  I  have  the  letter  here  in 
which  they  refused  to  print  it.    Let  me  see  what  ground  they  gave 

Mr.  Smith.  May  I  see  it  ? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  "Not  consonant  with  the  friendly  aims" — the  friendly 
aims.    You  should  have  seen  what  they  called  me. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  would  like  to  have  Mr.  Niblo  read 
this  into  the  record  and  identify  it  as  a  letter  dated  October  31,  1946, 
addressed  to  Mr.  Fred  Niblo,  Jr.,  1927  Rodney  Drive,  Los  Angeles  27, 
Calif.,  on  the  paper  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild,  Inc.,  over  the  signa- 
ture of  Harold  J.  Salemson — S-a-1-e-m-s-o-n — for  the  editorial  com- 
mittee. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered. 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Do  you  want  me  to  read  it  aloud? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes. 

Mr.  Niblo  (reading)  : 

Screen  Writers'  Guild,  Inc., 
Affiliated  With  the  Authors'  League  of  America,  Inc., 

HoUyicood  2S,  Calif. 
Mr.  Fred  Niblo,  Jr., 

Los  Angeles  27,  Calif. 
Dear  Mr.  Niblo:  The  editorial  committee  of  the  Screen  Writer  has  instructed 
me  to  inform  you  that,  after  giving  your  letter  the  same  consideration  tliat  all 
material  coming  before  it  receives,  it  has  decided  against  publishing  it. 

Without  prejudice  to  its  literary  merit,  it  was  unanimously  agreed  by  the  com- 
mittee that  the  content  of  your  offering  is  not  consonant  with  the  friendly  aims 
of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild  which  the  magazine  strives  to  foster. 

Please  accept  my  personal  apologies  for  not  having  communicated  this  decision 
to  you  more  promptly.     It  is  just  that  I  have  been  swamped  and,  as  a  result, 
gotten  disorganized  in  my  work  here. 
Very  sincerely  yours, 

Harold  J.  Salemson, 
For  the  Editorial  Committee. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  193 

You  may  have  that  copy.^^ 

Mr.  Smith.  I  imderstaiul  that  the  letter  you  wished  to  publish  was 
your  views  ou  anti-Coninuuiists  iu  the  attack  on  you;  is  that  right? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Tluit  was  essentially  the  issue  of  the  whole  thing. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  addition  to  this  letter,  did  you  receive  other  in- 
formation as  to  why  your  letter  would  not  be  published? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  No.  I  may  say  this,  that  I  complained  to  the  executive 
board  of  the  guild  after  the  election  and  we  had  gotten  a  couple  of 
moderates  on  the  board,  when  I  thought  it  might  be  safe  to  go  up  there 
and  complain.  They  assured  me  this  sort  of  thing  wouldn't  happen 
again.  I  don't  know  whether  they  have  kept  their  word  or  not.  bub- 
sequent  witnesses  may  reveal  whether  they  did  or  did  not. 

I  also  complained  about  the  fact  that  Mr.  Dalton  Trumbo,  who  in 
my  opinion  is  a  Communist,  was  editing  the  magazine.  They  replied 
he  was  no  longer  editor  of  the  magazine.  I  asked  who  was,  and  they 
said  Mr.  Gordon  Kahn.  In  my  opinion,  that  is  like  tweedledum  and 
tweedledee. 

Mr.  Smith.  Is  it  your  opinion  that  Mr.  Gordon  Kahn  is  a  Com- 
munist ? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  That  is  my  opinion,  though  I  cannot  prove  it,  any  more 
than  Custer  can  prove  that  the  people  who  were  massacreing  him  were 
Indians.  I  have  no  documentary  evidence  of  this,  but  I  believe  these 
people  to  be  Communists. 

Mr.  Smith.  Was  your  letter  ever  published  ? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  My  letter  was  never  published.  At  the  time  I  went  up 
to  the  board — they  skipped  a  month  because  I  dichi't  make  the  dead 
line — they  sort  of  grudgingly  offered  to  publish  it,  but  by  that  time 
the  issue  was  cold,  by  that  time  it  was  non  sequitur,  and  I  would  have 
looked  like  more  than  a  fool  if  they  had. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  familiar  with  the  Hollywood  Writers  Mo- 
bilization? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  I  am. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  is  your  opinion  of  that  organization? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  I  think  it  is  Ked. 

Mr.  Smith.  By  Red,  you  mean 

Mr.  NiBLO.  I  mean  communistic — more  so  if  anything  since  the  war 
than  during  the  war,  more  so  if  anything  since  Emmett  Lavery  ceased 
to  be  a  member  of  the  officer  personnel  of  the  Hollywood  Writers 
Mobilization. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  mentioned  a  while  ago  that  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild  publishes  a  magazine.    What  is  the  name  of  that? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  The  Screen  Writer. 

Mr.  Smith.  And  is  that  the  magazine  that  you  refer  to  that  you 
felt  Mr.  Trumbo  and  Mr.  Kahn  were  communistically  controlling  it? 

Mr.  XiBLo.  Yes ;  that  is  the  magazine  I  meant. 

Mr.  Smith.  Or  is  that  your  statement?  This  particular  guild  mag- 
azine, what  is  your  opinion  of  that  magazine. 

^^  See  appendix,  p.  531,  for  exhibit  42. 


194  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  NiBLO.  My  opinion  of  the  magazine  is  that  it  is  sort  of  a  literary 
monthly  supplement  to  tlie  Daily  Worker.  I  think  that  everybody 
Avho  reads  or  lias  read  all  the  issues  would  come  to  the  same  conclusion. 
It  strives  to  follow  the  party  line.  It  may  deviate,  because  I  am  not 
too  familiar  with  all  of  the  theology  of  the  part}?  Inie,  but  it  is  very 
left  wing.    It  is  excessively  so. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  feel  that  the  magazine  is  used  to  sponsor  left-wing 
ideas,  Communist  Party  ideas? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  To  give  you  one  idea.  I  recently  saw — I  haven't  got  the 
issue  with  me — an  announcement,  which  was  not  a  paid  advertisement, 
in  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  magazine,  I  believe,  announcing  courses 
for  the  Peoples  Educational  Center.  Now,  this  Peoples  Educational 
Center  is  a  communistic  center.  I  believe  it  has  been  identified  by  the 
Tenney  committee  in  our  State  as  a  communistic  school.  The  tenor  of 
some  of  the  articles — I  may  say  that  some  of  the  attacks  on  me  and  on 
others — savor  very  definitely  of  left-wing  bias,  and  that  is  putting  it 
mildly. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Niblo,  do  you  know  of  any  instances  when  any  offi- 
cers of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild  have  resigned  on  account  of  anti- 
communistic  pressure  ? 

Mr.  Niblo.  I  believe  I  do.  These  officers  of  the  Screen  Writers  Guild 
were  simultaneously  members  of  the  committee,  the  executive  commit- 
tee of  the  League  of  American  Writers.  The  League  of  American 
Writers  I  think  has  been  identified,  but  I  made  a  note  of  this.  My 
authority  is  George  Rockwell  Brown,  in  the  Examiner  of  Los  Angeles 
of  November  15, 1943,  where  the  League  of  American  Writers  has  been 
described  as  subversive  by  Public  Law  135  and  Public  Law  644  of  the 
Seventy-seventh  Congress.  Four  of  our  board  of  governors  or  execu- 
tive committee  were  simultaneously  members  of  the  governing  body  of 
the  League  of  American  Writers. 

Mr.  Smith.  Who  were  those  four  people? 

Mr.  Niblo.  Those  four  people  were  Lester  Cole,  John  Howard  Law- 
son,  Donald  Ogden  Stewart,  and  Tess  Schlessinger,  deceased.  Tess 
Schlessinger  was  the  wife,  of  screen  writer  Frank  Davis,  not  to  be  con- 
fused with  Professor  Frank  Davis,  of  LTCLA. 

Mr,  Smith.  How  do  you  spell  Tess  Schlessinger  ? 

Mr.  Niblo.  I  am  not  certain  offhand.  I  think  it  is  T-e-s-s  S-l-e-s- 
s-i-n-g-e-r.    I  suppose  I  did  know  at  one  time,  because  I  had  the 

Mr.  Smith.  I  think  the  correct  spelling  is  S-c-h-1-e-s-s-i-n-g-e-r. 

Mr.  Niblo.  I  am  not  much  of  a  speller;  I  am  sorry. 

Mr.  Smith.  Well,  will  you  continue  with  that  instance,  please. 

Mr.  Niblo.  These  people  had  joined  with  others  of  their  organiza- 
tion in  sending  President  Roosevelt  a  telegram  protesting  the  then 
war-mongering  activities  of  the  United  States  Government.  This  was 
in  June  of  1941,  just  before  the  German  invasion  of  Russia.  They  had 
protested  the  use  of  troops  at  the  North  American  strike  in  Englewood. 
They,  I  believe,  protested  that  the  Communist  Party  was  not  allowed 
on  the  ballot  of  40  States.  They  protested  a  great  many  things.  "Wlien 
some  of  us  in  the  guild  found  that  out — chiefly  under  the  leadership, 
I  believe,  of  Richard  Macauley — we  demanded  a  special  meeting  in 
order  to  oust  them.  By  the  time  the  meeting  occurred,  it  wasn't  neces- 
sary to  oust  them.  They  had  already  stepped  down,  as  I  recall  it,  in 
favor  of  their  alternates.    By  that  time  it  was  obvious,  and  Russia  had 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  195 

been  attacked  by  Germany.  However,  it  didn't  do  us  much  good,  be- 
cause the  following  November  they  or  their  kind  were  back  in  otfice 
again.  I  think  that  was  the  year  that  Mr.  Sidney  Buchman  was  elected 
president  and  Mr.  Richard  Macanley  lost  liis,  to  be  perfectly  frank 
about  it.  quite  openly,  for  which  I  honor  him. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Niblo,  what  is  the  attitude  of  the  Screen  Writers 
Guild  as  to  the  investigation  being  conducted  by  this  committee,  in 
your  opinion'^ 

Mr.  Niblo.  It  may  be  that  a  large  number  of  the  Screen  Writers 
GuiUKTuild,  speaking  generally  about  screen  writers,  are  in  favor  of  it, 
or  against  it.  I  don't  know  that,  but  we  had  a  meeting  on  August  14 
last,  a  quorum  meeting 

Mr,  Smith.  That  is  August  14, 1947 — this  year'^ 

Mr.  NiP.Lo.  1947.  A  majority  of  the  quorum  which  was  present 
voted  against  this  committee,  in  the  following  resolution — do  you  want 
me  to  read  it? 

Mr.  Smith.  I  would  like  to  have  you  read  it. 

Mr.  NiBLO.  It  is  a  long  one. 

Mr.  Smith.  Let  us  see  it.    How  long  is  it? 

Mr.  McDowell.  What  is  the  difference?  Their  opinion  of  this  com- 
mittee isn't  important  to  us. 

Mr.  Smith.  Maybe  not.  I  wanted  to  show  that  a  resolution  has 
been  adopted  opposing  it.  You  can  receive  it  for  the  record  or  not, 
whatever  you  say. 

Mr.  NiDLo.  That  failed  to  be  unanimously  carried  because  there  were 
seven  or  eight,  or  more,  who  voted  it  down,  but  that  was  carried. 

The  CiiAiR^iAN.  What  is  the  resolution  about? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Condemning  this  committee,  the  activity  of  this  com- 
mittee. 

The  Chairmax.  The  Un-American  Activities  Committee  ? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  I  don't  think  we  need  to  have  that. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  suggestions  have  you  to  or  for  the  committee  at 
this  time  to  handle  the  problem  at  hand,  Mr.  Niblo? 

Mr.  NiBLo.  You  mean  the  communistic  problem? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  NiBLo.  Well,  I  think  that  the  definition  of  communism  should 
be  broadened  to  include  not  only  those  who  can  be  proved  to  be  carrying 
party  cards,  but  those  who  consistently  follow  the  party  line. 

You  ask  my  opinion.  I  think  it  is  grotesque  that  a  Russian  political 
party  enjoys  a  legal  existence  as  an  American  political  party  in  this 
country. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  3^011  think  the  party  should  be  outlawed? 

Mr.  NiBLO.  Yes.  It  has  been  objected  to  on  the  ground  that  they 
will  go  underground.  I  think  they  are  already  underground,  insofar 
as  it  suits  their  purpose.  It  is  a  secret  organization  no  less  than  the 
Ku  Klux  Klan.  I  myself  feel  that  I  am  sick  and  tired  of  being  harassed 
and  irritated  and  even  smeared  by  enemies  of  my  country  in  my  own 
r-ountry.  I  would  like  to  appeal  as  a  loyal  citizen  to  this  Congress 
for  relief. 

The  Chairmax.  Mr.  Witness,  may  I  interrupt  right  there.  I  want 
to  clarify  the  Chair's  decision  in  regard  to  that  letter.  It  is  not  that 
the  committee  is  afraid  to  have  the  letter  read.    In  fact,  the  Chair  will 


196  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

order  it  placed  in  the  record,  at  the  point  of  the  testimony  where  it  was 
broiiglit  up.  But  it  is  because  we  are  criticized  every  day  and  every 
hour,  and  maybe  we  are  praised  every  day  and  every  hour.  That 
doesn't  influence  us  a  great  deal.  We  are  just  trying  to  do  the  best 
job  we  can, 

Mr.  NiBLO.  I  was  merely  answering 

The  CiiAiRMAX.  We  are  not  afraid,  however,  of  tlie  criticism.  In 
fact,  we  welcome  it.  So  the  Chair  will  order  the  letter  placed  in  the 
record  at  the  point  where  the  witness  testified  concerning  it. 

Mr.  NiBLO.  This  is  not  a  letter.     It  is  a  resolution  which  was  passed. 

The  Chairman.  A  resolution.     That  is  all  right. 

(The  resolution  referred  to  is  as  follows:) 

The  House  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities  has  announced  that  its  hear- 
ings concerning  Hollywood  will  commence  September  2:>.  It  is  apparent  from 
the  statements  of  committee  members,  investigators,  and  witnesses  that  the  im- 
mediate target  of  these  hearings  will  be  the  democratic  guilds  and  unions  of  the 
picture  industry.  In  the  subcommittee  hearings  this  spring,  the  Screen  Writers' 
Guild  was  slanderously  attacked  as  the  center  of  subversive  activity  in  Holly- 
wood and  afforded  no  opportunity  to  answer  tlie  charge.  We  are  now  sufficiently 
acquainted  with  the  record  and  methods  of  this  committee  to  know  positively 
that  there  is  no  way  to  obtain  a  fair  hearing  under  its  auspices  for  our  side  of 
the  case.  For  these  reasons,  and  because  every  intelligent  American  knows  that 
the  eventual  target  of  the  committee  is  tlie  freedom  of  the  screen  and  American 
democratic  rights  in  general,  it  is  fitting  that  tlie  Screen  Writers'  Guild  should 
issue  the  following  call  to  tlie  other  employee  and  employer  organizations  in  the 
industry : 

"That  the  various  guilds,  unions,  and  producer  organizations  in  Hollywood 
unite  in  opposition  to  the  conspiracy  against  the  motion-picture  industry  between 
a  few  individuals  within  the  industry  and  tlie  controlling  faction  of  the  House 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities;  that  these  groups,  representing  the  over- 
whelming majority  sentiment  of  the  industry,  use  every  means  at  their  disposal 
to  expose  in  advance  the  nature  and  purpose  of  the  so-called  hearings  now 
scheduled  for  September  23 ;  and  that  these  groups  combine  their  talents  and 
existing  channels  for  appearing  to  public  opinion  in  order  to  present  our  side  of 
tlie  story  to  the  American  people  during  and  after  the  committee  sessions  in 
Washington." 

Mr.  Smith.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDow^ELL.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Mr.  NiBLo.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Richard  Macaulay. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Macaulay. 

Raise  your  right  hand.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony 
you  are  about  to  give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but 
the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  I  do. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  197 

TESTIMONY  OF  KICHARD  MACATJLAY 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  state  your  name,  please,  Mr.  Macaulay? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Richard  Macaulay. 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  spell  your  name,  please  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  M-a-c-a-u-1-a-y. 

Mr.  Smitit.  Richard  Macaulay? 

;Mr.  Macaulay.  That  is  rif^ht. 

Mr.  Smith.  AVhere  do  you  live,  Mr.  Macaulay  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  9909  Robbins  Drive,  Beverly  Hills,  Calif. 

Mr.  Smith.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Chicago,  111.,  August  18,  1909. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  are  here  in  response  to  a  subpena  heretofore 
served  upon  j^ou?  ^- 

Mr.  ]\1acaulay.  I  am. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Macaulay,  what  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  I  am  a  writer. 

Mr.  Smith.  For  w^hom? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  At  the  present  moment  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  long  have  you  been  a  writer? 

!Mr.  Macaulay.  About  20  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  A  screen  writer  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  No.  Before  that  I  was  a  magazine  writer  and  a 
radio  writer  previous  to  that. 

Mr.  Smith.  For  whom  have  you  written?  Will  you  name  some 
of  the  people  or  organizations  for  whom  you  have  written  in  the  past 
20  years,  and  your  experience? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Both  of  the  broadcasting  companies,  the  Saturday 
Evening  Post,  the  magazines,  Warner  Bros.,  Columbia,  RKO,  Metro- 
Goldwyn-Mayer.  Universal. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Macaulay,  how  long  have  you  been  associated 
with  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  For  the  last  12  years  Avith  the  exception  of  3  years 
when  I  was  in  the  service. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  j^ou  a  member  of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  I  am. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  actively  participate  in  that  organization? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Yes ;  I  do." 

Mr.  Smith.  And  for  what  period  of  time? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Ever  since  I  have  been  in  Hollywood,  ever  since  the 
reactivation  of  the  guild  in  1936. 

Mr.  Smith.  In  your  opinion  have  there  been  any  Communists  in 
control  or  attempts  to  control  the  policies  of  the  Screen  Writers' 
Guild? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Yes.  There  always  had  been,  I  understood,  before 
I  came  in  but  after  we  reorganized  in  1936  such  control  became  more 
and  more  evident. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  explain  some  of  the  things  that  this  group  of 
people  do  that  you  feel  are  communistically  inclined  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  To  begin  with,  they  have  a  constant  program  of 
intimidation.    As  time  went  on,  only  a  very  few  would  get  up  on  the 

^  ."^pe  appendix,  p.  531,  for  exhibit  43. 


198  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

floor  of  the  guild  and  attempt  to  oppose  the  controlling  faction.  There 
are  some  members  of  the  guild  who  are  booed  and  hissed  the  moment 
they  arise  before  they  open  their  mouths,  on  many  occasions.  This 
frequently  seems  to  be  the  result  of  a  well-organized  clique.  Even  if 
they  let  you  get  up  without  bothering  you,  before  you  have  proceeded 
five  sentences  into  your  remarks  someone  is  certainly  liable  to  start 
hissing  you. 

Mr.  Smith.  You  say  "this  group."  Wliom  do  you  mean  by  "they" 
or  "this  group"? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  The  Communists,  and  the  boys  who  play  along 
with  them. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  able  to  identify  some  of  these  individuals,  in 
your  opinion? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Oh,  yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Will  you  do  so  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  A  lot  of  these  people — a  few  of  them  may  not  be 
Communists.     I  might  possibly  be  doing  an  injustice  to  some  of  them. 

Mr.  Smith.  We  would  prefer  you  name  only  those  in  the  guild 
whom  you  feel  are  Communists. 

Mr.  Macaulay.  I  am  morally  certain  of  all  of  them.  I  merely  say 
if  they  habitually  consort  with  bank  robbers  and  the  bank  on  the  next 
street  is  knocked  off  they  can't  holler  if  someone  blows  the  whistle. 

They  are :  Alvah  Bessie,  Lester  Cole,  Gordon  Kahn,  Howard  Koch, 
Ring  Lardner,  Jr.,  John  Howard  Lawson,  Albert  Maltz,  Samuel 
Ornitz,  Waldo  Salt,  Robert  Rossen,  Dalton  Trumbo.  Guy  Endore, 
Richard  Collins,  Marian  Spitzer,  Hugo  Butler,  Donald  Ogden  Stewart, 
Paul  Trivers,  Maurice  Rapf,  Henry  Meyers,  John  Wexley,  Ronald 
MacDougall,  John  Collier,  Abraham  Polensky,  William  Pomerance, 
Harold  Buchman,  Melvvn  Lew,  Clifford  Odets,  and  Michael  Blank- 
fort. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Macaulay,  have  you  had  any  experience  writing 
any  articles  for  the  Screen  Writers  magazine? 

ikr.  Macaulay.  Yes ;  I  had  such  an  experience.  Alvah  Bessie  had 
written  an  article  for  the  magazine  sometime  previous  to  my  attempt. 
I  attempted  to  answer  this  article.  Mr.  Bessie  in  his  article  com- 
plained about  the  things  he  could  not  write  about  because  of  capital- 
istic oppression  both  in  the  movies  and  in  the  general  press  and  the 
magazine  groups. 

I  answered  this  article,  the  basis  of  my  article  being  this  fact,  that 
I  was  prevented  from  writing  many  things  about  which  I  would  like 
to  write  because  of  the  active  interference  of  Mr.  Bessie  and  his  friends. 

This  article  was  turned  down  by  Mr.  Dalton  Trumbo,  the  editor  of 
the  magazine. 

Mr.  Smith.  How  do  you  feel  it  was  turned  down  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Mr.  Trumbo  gave  several  remarkable  reasons,  one 
of  them  beinn;  that  I  had  attacked  minority  groups,  I  had  attacked 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  This  was  remarkable  coming  from 
Dalton  Trumbo,  doubly  so,  and  the  fact  that  I  am  a  Roman  Catholic. 
The  reasons  were  completely  specious,  and  obviously  so. 
Mr.  Smith.  What  action,  if  any,  did  you  then  take? 
Mr.  Macaulay.  Later  on  to  one  of  the  editors  of  the  magazine  T 
said,  "It  is  obvious  that  there  is  no  likelihood  that  anything  I  would 
write  could  be  printed  in  the  Screen  Writer,"  and  he  said,  "I  think  you 
are  absolutely  right." 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  199 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  these  letters  and  I  think  they 
should  be  offered  only  as  exhibits. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered.^^ 
(The  letters  referred  to  are  as  follows:) 

March  9,  1946. 
Mr.  Richard  Macatjlay. 

Beverly  Hills,  Calif. 
Dear  Mr.  Macatilay  :  Thanks  for  your  letter  to  Mv.  Eugene  Dooley,  of  which  I 
just  received  the  carbon  copy.  I  will  submit  it  to  the  editorial  committee,  which, 
I  feel  sure,  will  want  to  run  it  in  the  April  Screen  Writer  (out  about  April  10). 
Your  int(>resting  article  on  censorship  will  come  up  for  final  disposal  at  the 
editorial  committee  meeting  next  Thursday  night  and.  from  talks  I  have  had 
with  several  members  of  the  committee,  I  feel  I  can  virtually  assure  you  that  it 
will  be  accepted  for  the  April  issue,  as  well. 

Incidentally,  if  you  receive  a  publishable  answer  from  Mr.  Dooley,  I  think  our 
readers  will  be  interested  in  what  he  has  to  say. 
Thanks  for  your  continued  interest  in  the  magazine. 
Sincerely, 

Harold  J.  Salem  son, 
Director  of  Publications. 


March  22,  1946. 
Mr.  Richard  Macaulay. 

Los  Angeles,  Calif. 

Dear  Mr.  Macaut..\y  :  The  editorial  board  has  decided  against  publishing  your 
article  Who  Censors  What?  and  your  letter  to  Mr.  Eugene  Dooley  of  St.  Elizabeth's 
Church. 

The  material  slanders  four  million  Americans  of  Italian  descent;  it  attacks 
organized  labor;  it  takes  the  Government  to  task  on  issues  which  have  nothing 
to  do  with  screen  writers ;  it  contains  statements  which  might  be  construed  as 
Incitement  to  attack  upon  various  religious  faiths,  especially  the  Roman  Catholic. 

We  do  not  question  the  courage  of  the  Warsaw  Poles  who  participated  in 
General  Bor's  "magnificent,  doomed  uprising,"  just  as  we  do  not  question  the 
courage  of  the  men  and  women  who  arose  in  that  earlier  and  more  surely  doomed 
effort  which  came  to  be  known  as  the  battle  of  the  Warsaw  ghetto.  The  Alexander 
Hamilton  film  you  proposed  was  done  by  Warner  Bros,  in  1932,  starring  the  late 
George  Arliss.  It  is,  however,  improbable  that  the  picture  fulfilled  your  require- 
ments of  portraying  .Jefferson  as  "our  prime  villain  in  history." 

It  is  ditficult  to  support  your  belief  in  "the  inalienable  right  of  man's  mind 
to  be  exposed  to  any  thought  whatsoever,  however  intolerable  that  thought  might 
be  to  anyone  else."  Frequently  such  a  right  encroaches  upon  the  right  of  others 
to  their  lives.  It  was  this  "inalienable  right"  in  Fascist  countries  which  directly 
resulted  in  the  slaughter  of  five  million  Jews. 
Very  truly, 

Dalton  Trumbo, 
(For  the  Editorial  Committee  of  the  Screen  Writer.) 


[From  Variety,  published  October  14,  1946] 

Who  Censors  What? 

(By  Richard  ^Macaulay) 

In  a  recent  issue  of  the  Screen  Writer,  Mr.  Alvah  Bessie  consumed  eight 
pages  of  print  in  the  i»roving  of  what  every  writer  knows — namely,  that  there 
are  certain  forces  which,  all  too  often,  successfully  prevent  a  writer  from  present- 
ing the  truth,  or  his  conception  thereof.  The  only  unique  thing  about  Mr. 
Bessie's  piece  was  his  apparent  a.ssumptinn  that  writers  seeking  to  interpret 
honestly  the  Spanish  Civil  War  have  been  the  only  sufferers  in  this  respect, 
although  there  was  also  the  implication  that  any  cause  dear  to  the  Writers' 

'*  See  appentlix,  p.  531,  for  exhibits  44-46. 


200  COMMUXISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Congress  would  have  similar  dlfllcultios  in  reaching  the  motion  picture  screen. 
It  is  not  difficult  to  understand  Mr.  Bessie's  preoccupation  with  the  Spanish 
war.  To  the  soldier,  the  biggest  battle  is  the  one  in  which  he  was  hurt,  or 
most  frightened.  The  man  who  liit  Iwo  Jima  on  D-day  will  believe  forevermore 
that  this  was  the  concentrated  hell-hole  of  the  war,  although  he  cannot  be  ex- 
pected to  argue  this  successfully  with  a  man  who  measures  his  beachheads  by 
the  standards  of  Salerno.  And  so,  the  war  to  Mr.  Bessie  is  contained  prin- 
cipally in  Spain,  although  it  is  difficult  for  the  average  American  soldier  who 
served  in  north  Africa  and  Sicily  to  tliinlv  of  the  Italian  soldier  as  a  formidable 
opponent. 

HERE  COMES  THE  CENSOR 

It  is,  in  fact,  this  latter  conception  which  has  resulted  in  my  own  most  re- 
cent contact  with  the  subterranean  forces  of  uncodified  censorship.  I  wrote 
a  story  called  Trouble  Near  Bataglia.  It  was  a  simple  story,  and  in  it  my 
American  soldiers  had  a  definite  attitude  toward  the  Italian  people.  This 
attitude,  as  lield  by  my  soldiers,  was  undoubtedly  shared  by  Da  percent  of  all 
American  soldiers  who  served  in  Sicily  or  Italy.  My  story  represented  an 
accurate  poi'trayal  of  an  attitude  that  does  exist,  and  widely. 

The  letter  to  my  agent  from  the  first  magazine  to  which  the  story  was  presented 
began  as  follows:  "Trouble  Near  Bataglia  is  a  magnificent  story,  and  naturally 
neither  this  magazine  nor  any  other  publication  that  we  know  of  is  going  to 
print  it." 

AFRAID    OF    STINK 

Now,  of  whom  was  this  editor  afraid?  And  the  other  editors,  for  whom  he 
assumed  to  speak  .so  authoritatively?  (And  accurately!)  Well,  I'll  tell  you. 
First  of  all,  they  are  afraid  of  that  segment  of  the  Italian-American  population 
which,  correctly  enough,  still  places  the  "Italian"  first  in  the  hyphenation  of 
their  citizenship.  And  second.arily,  these  editors  are  afraid  of  Mr.  Bessie  and 
his  friends,  knowing  well  their  talent  for  creating  an  organized,  well-publicized 
stink. 

Let's  start  considering  various  things  which  yoti  can't  put  on  the  screen. 
Let's  take  labor  leaders.  I  think  the  life  of  .Tames  Caesar  Petrillo  would  make 
a  fascinating  screen  play.  As  a  writer  who  thinks  he  knows  dramatic  material, 
I  would  like  to  have  a  few  months  to  fool  around  with  the  life  of  Dan  Tobin.  I 
think  that  a  motion  picture  honestly  investigating  the  modus  operandi  of  the 
building  trade  unions  would  have  unlimited  possibilities  for  entertainment, 
di'ama,  and  public  enlightenment.  But  if  I  have  to  take  time  out  and  prepare 
a  treatment,  or  a  screen  play,  on  any  one  of  these  three  fertile  subjects,  what  do 
you  think  my  chances  would  be  of  selling?  Negligible,  naturally.  And  if  any 
producer,  new  in  town,  were  so  stupid  as  to  buy  it,  the  project  would  still  never 
reach  the  screen. 

SAME  OLD  OPPOSITION 

Aside  from  my  obvious  difficulties  with  the  Messrs.  Tobin  and  Petrillo  anu 
their  families  and  the  loyal  members  of  their  organizations,  I  greatly  fear  that 
I  would  encounter  again  determined  opposition  fi'om  IMr.  Bessie  and  his  friends, 
and  unsavory  words  might  be  applied  to  me,  such  as  "fink"  and  many  other  less 
printable. 

On  the  other  hand,  I  have  seen  a  great  many  motion  pictures  where  captains 
of  finance  and  management  have  been  depicted  as  cruel,  avaricious  men,  devotedly 
concentrated  on  their  own  agrandizement,  and  callously  oblivious  to  the  public 
weal.  Also,  the  real  American  Faceless  I\Ian,  the  typical  bourgeois,  is  portrayed 
consistently  as  a  silly  little  fellow,  devoid  of  any  real  decency  or  intelligence,  and 
yet  capable  of  almost  any  crime  in  the  book,  ranging  from  inept  cupidity  to 
grotesque  murder. 

BUSY  BUSINESSMAN 

However,  nothing  in  the  way  of  concerted  protest  happens  in  either  of  these 
cases.  The  national  Association  of  Manufacturers  and  the  United  States  Cham- 
ber of  Commerce  have,  by  their  very  nature,  limited  memberships.  These  men 
ordinarily  are  too  busy  to  organize  boisterous  minorities  into  effective  weapons 
of  suppression. 

As  for  the  Faceless  Man,  he  is  eternally  unorganized,  squeezed  hard  between 
management  and  labor,  with  his  screams  of  anguish  unpitied  and  unheard.     This 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  201 

group,  unable  effectively  to  protest  its  own  assassination,  certainly  will  never 
organize  in  protest  against  a  motion  picture. 

In  more  general  concepts  of  life,  a  picture  which  presented  the  thesis  that 
unwedded  bliss  can  be  a  pretty  good  thing,  or  that  a  woman  who  hates  her  husband 
should  divorce  him,  would  run  into  a  blizzard  of  blows.  Even  granting  the 
preposterous  premise  that  the  script  of  such  a  picture  got  by  the  Johnston  office, 
what  would  happen  to  it  after  it  reached  the  screen?  The  Legion  of  Decency, 
the  Knights  of  Columbus,  the  Watch  and  "Ward  Society,  and  a  thousand  other 
organizations  who  watch  broodingly  over  public  morals  would  descend  on  the  film 
with  drooling  jowl  and  bared  fang. 

STORY  OF  WARSAW 

I  freely  admit  that  Mr.  Bessie  and  his  friends  would  raise  no  outcry  against 
any  of  the  proposed  scenarios  outlined  in  the  above  two  paragraphs.  Neither, 
I  also  admit,  should  anyone  else  in  a  society  which  even  pretends  to  believe  in 
the  inalienable  right  of  man's  mind  to  be  exposed  to  any  thought  whatsoever, 
however  intolerable  that  thought  might  be  to  anyone  else. 

But  I  fear  that  Mr.  Bessie  might  take  a  jaundiced  view  of  any  effort  to  bring 
to  the  screen  General  Bor's  magnificent,  doomed  uprising  in  Warsaw,  which 
perished  for  lack  of  aid  even  as  Russian  troops  sat  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the 
Vistula.  I  use  the  word  "magnificent"  advisedly,  speaking  in  terms  of  human 
courage.  I  am  not  prepared  to  pass  on  the  politics  tliat  went  into  the  situation. 
All  I  know  is  that  the  attempted  liberation  of  War.saw  was  a  brave  effort,  of  a 
people  arising  against  a  conqueror,  only  to  have  their  high  hope  wither  to 
bleak  despair  and  ultimate  starvation  and  defeat. 

Yet  I  am  afraid  that  if  Mr.  Bessie  and  friends  did  not  tr.v  to  stop  the  making 
of  this  picture,  ibey  would  certainly  speak  very  sternly  ;igaiiist  it,  and  perhaps, 
attempt  to  invoke  sanctions. 

"CO.NFESSIONS"   AGAIX 

Many  honest  citizens  of  this  country  regard  communism  with  a  fear  and  a 
horror  equal  to  that  which  they  bestow  on  fascism,  nazism,  or  any  other  form 
of  state  authoritarianism.  Some  time  before  the  war  Warner  Bros,  produced 
a  motion  picture  entitled  "Confessions  of  Nazi  Spy."  This  was  a  very  good 
picture,  timely,  and,  as  proved  by  subsequent  events,  quite  accurate  in  its 
premise.  But  what  would  happen  now  if  some  honest  citizen  attempted  to 
make  a  picture  with  his  fears  and  suspicions  of  the  Soviet  as  his  subject? 
I  don't  think  yiv.  Bessie  would  permit  it,  and  of  the  many  protest  committees 
which  would  form  immediatel.v  I  think  that  a  substantial  percentage  of  the 
names  could  also  be  found  on  the  membership  list  of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild. 

I  think  it  amusing  for  Mr.  Bessie  to  complain  of  something  he  can't  write 
about,  and  here's  why :  There  are  so  many  things  I  wouldn't  be  able  to  write 
about  because  of  Mr.  Bessie. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Macaulay,  do  you  think  communism  is  a  threat  in 
the  motion-picture  industry  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  JMacaulay.  Yes:  1  do;  very  definitely.  The  AA'ay  these  men 
used  to  operate  in  the  guild 

Mr.  Smith.  The  Screen  Writers  Guild? 

Mr.  JMacaulay,  Yes.  They  made  a  man's  name  a  byword  and  a 
hissing  if  he  so  much  as  dared  "mention  the  name  of  comminiism  or 
say  the  word  "Communist."  By  this  indoctrination  and  inculcation 
that  they  gave  to  the  vast  middle  mass  of  the  guild  they  nvade  it  n 
terrible  thing.  A  man  was  a  moron  or  imbecile  if  he  said  the  word 
"communism." 

They  have  so  successfully  indoctrinated  even  well-meaning  mem- 
bers of  the  guild  with  this  idea  that  recently  at  a  caucus  of  a  bunch 
of  moderates  who  dedicated  themselves  to  trying  to  throw  the  Com- 
munists out  at  the  forthcoming  guild  election  in  November,  it  was 
decided  there  not  to  use  the  word  "Communist."  Instead  we  referred 
to  the  opposition  as  the  "Lester  Cole  faction." 


202  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  McDo^VEIX.  As  the  what? 

]Mr.  Macaulay.  The  "Lester  Cole  faction." 

The  Chalrman.  The  record  will  show  Mr.  Wood  is  present.  A 
quorum  is  present. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Macaulay,  what  do  you  feel  could  be  done  to  oppose 
this  threat? 

Mr.  Macaui^^y.  The  obvious  thing  is  to  throw  them  out  at  the  next 
election,  if  we  can,  within  my  own  guild — and  I  have  been  speaking 
most  specifically  of  the  problem  within  my  own  guild.  If  we  can  vote 
them  out  of  oflice  we  will  certainly  clip  their  wings. 

In  general,  as  far  as  the  country  goes,  I  definitely  feel  the  Commu- 
nist Party  should  be  outlawed.  I  think  it  is  not  a  political  party  at 
all ;  it  is  a  seditious  conspiracy  and  should  be  treated  as  such. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  have  no  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood  ? 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  ]\Ir.  Nixon  ? 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  Macaulay,  you  said  in  naming  a  considerable  list 
of  people  that  you  felt  were  Communists,  that  is,  in  your  opinion, 
you  did  not  want  to  do  any  of  them  an  injustice.  I  think  it  might  be 
well  if  you  would  indicate  what  specific  actions  these  people  generally 
indulged  in  which  led  you  to  form  that  opinion. 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Mr.  Nixon,  they  have  all  followed  the  tortuous 
twists  of  the  Communist  Party  line  through  Russia's  various  jumps, 
j)receding  and  during  the  war.  A  man  can  accidentally  join  one  or 
two  Communist-front  organizations,  but  when  you  find  them  in  five, 
six,  or  seven  I  think  the  supposition  is  reasonable  that  he  knows  what 
he  is  doing. 

Primarily  these  men  have  followed,  no  matter  how  ridiculous  it 
got,  the  party  line  of  the  Communist  Party.  They  have  always  voted 
as  a  group.  You  will  never  find  any  of  these  men  I  mentioned  voting 
differently  on  a  given  question. 

Mr.  Nixon,  In  other  words,  you  would  summarize  it  in  this  way: 
They  have  consistently  followed  the  Communist  line  in  foreign  policy  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  Yes. 

Mr.  Nixon.  They  have  consistently  belonged  to  Communist-front 
organizations  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Nixon.  They  have  voted  as  a  group  with  the  Communists  in 
every  case  ? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  IN^ixoN.  And  they  have  indulged  in  this  campaign  of  abuse 
against  those  who  have  indicated  they  might  have  some  opposition  to 
Comnuuiists? 

Mr.  Macaulay.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Nixon.  And  the  fact  that  these  people,  all  of  whom  you  have 
named,  have  consistently  participated  in  those  activities;  that  is  the 
basis  for  your  opinion  that  they  are  Communists  or  that  they  are 
consistent  Communist  sympathizers  2 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  203 

Mr.  Macaulav.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Thank  yon. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith,  do  you  have  any  more  questions? 

Mr.  SMrrn.  That  is  all,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Macaulay. 

(Witness  excused.) 

The  Chairman.  Your  next  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling,  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  will  be  Mr.  Robert 
Montgomery. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Montgomery,  will  you  raise  your  right  hand, 
please  ? 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the 
truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  ROBERT  MONTGOMERY 

Mr.  STRirLixG.  Mr.  IMontgomer}-,  will  ycu  state  your  full  name 
and  present  address,  please? 

Ml'.  MoNTG03[ERY.  liobei't  Montgomery,  10430  Bellagio  Road,  Belair, 
Los  Angeles  24,  Calif. 

Mr.  Strh'ling.  When  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Montgomery? 

Mr.  JSIoNTGOMERY.  I  was  born  in  Beacon,  N.  Y. 

Mr.  Stkh'eing.   In  what  year? 

Mr.  M()nt(;()meky.    li)()4.' 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  am  a  director. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  a  director  ? 

Mr,  Montgomery.  I  have  been  a  director  for  the  past  2  years  and 
an  actor  for  the  last  20, 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  have  been  in  Hollywood  since  1929. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  3- ou  serve  in  World  War  II  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery,  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  what  branch  of  the  service? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  United  States  Navy. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  a  member  of  any  guild  at  the  present  time  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Yes,  sir;  I  am  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors 
Guild. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  a  member  of  the  Screen 
Actoi-s  Guild? 

Mr,  Montgomery.  I  have  been  a  member  and  officer  of  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild  since  1933, 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  positions  have  you  held  within  the  guild? 

Mr.  jNIontgomery.  I  have  held  the  position,  Hrst,  of  vice  president 
of  the  guild;  I  have  been  either  a  member  of  the  board  or  the  presi- 
dent of  the  guild  since  1933.  I  have  held  the  position  of  president 
of  the  guild  in  the  years  1935.  1<)36.  and  1937  and  was  reelected  again 
in  1946,  resigning  about  3  months  after  my  election. 

Mr.  Stripling.  During  your  tenure  as  president  of  the  guild  and 
as  a  member  of  tlie  guild  have  you  ever  at  any  time  noted  any  Com- 
munist influences  operating  within  the  guild? 


^04  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Montgomery.  We  liave  had  in  the  Screen  Actors  Guild,  as  have 
other  labor  unions,  a  very  militant,  a  very  small  minority,  well  or- 
ganized, well  disciplined.  Those  people  have  been  active  since  as 
far  back  as  1933. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Could  you  tell  the  committee  whether  or  not  that 
group  has  ever  been  successful  in  dominating  the  policy  of  the  guild 
at  any  given  time? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  .  Never  under  any  circumstances. 

Mr,  Stripling.  What  has  been  the  policy  of  the  guild  regarding 
communism  and  fascism  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  think  the  answer  to  that  question  can  be  given 
best,  Mr.  Chairman,  if  you  will  permit  me  to  read  the  resolution  in 
that  regard  issued  by  the  guild  in  1946. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  have  your  permission,  sir  'i 

The  Chairman.  Yes. 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Thank  you.     [Reading:] 

The  Screen  Actors  Guild  feels  that  its  primary  function  is  the  honest  repre- 
sentation of  its  membership  in  a  legal  and  orderly  manner  by  duly  elected 
representatives  in  bringing  about  for  its  members  the  best  possible  working 
conditions,  hours,  and  wage  scales. 

The  Screen  Actors  Guild  feels  that  once  these  working  conditions,  wage 
scales,  and  hours  have  been  established,  it  is  its  duty,  through  its  adminis- 
trative staff,  to  see  to  it  that  the  parties  to  the  contract  iinder  which  these 
conditions  liave  been  agreed  to  adhere  strictly  to  the  conditions  as  set  forth 
in  that  contract. 

In  the  past  the  talent  groups  of  Hollywood  in  particular  and  the  industry  in 
general  have  been  sub.iected  to  attacks  via  the  press,  radio,  and  governmental 
agencies  which  have  been  instrumental  in  leading  the  public  at  largo  to  believe 
that  this  organization  has  otiier  aims  than  those  set  down  above.  The  accusa- 
tions have  been  made  publicly  against  the  talent  groups  that  they  do  not 
honestly  function  as  they  should  in  representing  their  members  and  have 
become  sounding  boards  for  ideologies  inimical  to  the  American  way  of  life. 

Recognizing  that  the  words  "Communist"  and  "Fascist"  have  been  employed 
with  recklessness  and  iri'esponsibility  as  terms  of  opprobrium,  the  Screen  Actors 
Guild  desires  to  make  a  public  statement  and  to  set  forth  the  above  points.  The 
guild  in  addition  states  that  it  has  in  the  past,  does  in  the  present,  and  will  in 
he  fnture  rigorously  oppose  by  every  power  which  is  within  its  legal  rights,  any 
real  Fascist  or  Communist  influence  in  the  motion-picture  industry  or  in  the 
ranks  of  labor. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Now,  Mr.  Montgomery,  you  introiluced  that  reso- 
lution yourself  ? 

Mr.  iVfoNTOOMERY.  Yes.  sir;  I  did. 

INIr.  Stiitpltng.  Did  the  introduction  of  it  create  any  controversy 
within  the  Guild? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  The  resolution  was  introduced  in,  as  I  remember 
it,  February  194G.  The  resolution  was  not  made  public  until  May,  I 
l)elieve,  194G.  I  would  have  to  check  those  dates  but  I  believe  they  are 
approximately  correct — May  or  June  of  1946. 

In  that  period  of  time,  between  those  two  dates,  the  first  two  articles 
of  the  resolution  pertaining  to  the  duties  of  the  guild  appeared  to 
cause  no  discussion  whasoever. 

The  third  article  in  the  resolution  which  came  out  flatfootedly 
against  any  real  Communist  or  Fascist  influence  in  the  ranks  of  labor 
or  in  the  motion-picture  industry  seemed  to  cause — again  from  a  very 
small  minority — a  tremendous  opposition.  Whether  that  opposition 
Avas  Communist  or  not,  I  am  not  qualified  to  state.    I  onh'  know  that 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  205 

the}'-  behaved  exactly  as  left-win^  fjroups  in  various  labor  unions  have 
behaved  in  the  past  and  do  behave  at  present. 

They  attempted  in  every  possible  way  to  cloud  the  issue  of  that  last 
clause  in  the  resolution. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Was  the  resolution  adopted  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  The  resolution  was  adopted  and  was  issued  pub- 
licly by  the  deleg:ates  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  at  the  California 
State  Labor  Convention  in  194G. 

IVIr.  Stripling.  AVere  any  compromise  or  substitute  resolutions 
offered  duriuf^  this  controversy? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Compromise  resolutions  were  offered,  naturally, 
because  that  appeared  to  be  one  of  the  tactics  of  the  opposition  to  that 
i-esolution.  In  all  the  compromise  resolutions  that  were  offered  the  flat 
statement  that  we  opposed  Communism  or  Fascism  was  strangely 
absent. 

JNIr.  Striplinc;.  Mr.  Montgomery,  as  a  veteran  of  the  Hollywood 
scene  are  you  aware  of  any  Communist  influences  in  other  guilds  in  the 
motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  JNIoNTGOMERY.  I  have  heard  a  great  deal  of  discussion  about  it. 
I  am  not  a  member  of  those  other  guilds  and  I  assume  that  just  as 
in  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  there  are  again  small  active  minorities 
within  those  other  guilds. 

Let  me  make  this  point  perfectly  clear,  with  your  permission.  The 
fact  that  these  minorities  are  tiny  does  not,  to  me,  cliange  the  picture 
as  far  as  their  danger  is  concerned.  They  are  Avell  organized,  they 
are  well  disciplined.  They  appear  at  public  meetings  tremendously 
well  organized  and  with  a  (•om})lete  program  for  the  evening. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  M()ntgomer3%  they  even  appear  at  congres- 
sional hearings,     [Laughter.] 

Mr.  Stripling,  Mr.  Montgomery,  can  you  tell  the  committee 
whether  or  not  in  any  picture  in  wliicli  you  were  an  actor,  or  in  any 
picture  which  you  have  produced,  you  have  ever  been  aware  of  any 
effort  to  inject  Communist  pro])aganda  or  scenes  Avhich  were  unfriendly 
to  the  American  way  into  such  films  or  scripts? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  have  heard  these  people  referred  to  as  the  luna- 
tic fringe,  and  I  quite  agree  with  that  definition.  However,  I  do 
not  think  any  of  them  would  be  crazy  enough  to  try  to  inject  Com- 
munist propaganda  into  a  picture  I  had  anything  to  do  with. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  opinion  regarding  communism? 

Mr.  ]\Iontgomery.  Mr.  Chairman,  in  common  with  millions  of  other 
men  in  this  country  in  19))$)  and  1940  I  gave  up  my  job  to  fight  against 
a  totalitarianism  which  was  called  fascism.  I  am  quite  willing  to 
give  it  up  again  to  fight  against  a  totalitarianism  called  communism. 
[Applause.] 

The  Chairman.  The  audience  is  the  guest  of  this  committee.  This 
is  a  congressional  committee  seeking  the  facts.  We  do  not  care  for 
any  applause. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Montgomery,  there  are  pending  before  this  com- 
mittee at  the  present  time  tAvo  bills  which  seek  to  outlaw  the  Com- 
munist Party.  The  committee  has  asked  a  number  of  i:)eople  who  are 
prominent  in  the  motion-picture  industry  and  Avho  have  appeared 
here  their  opinion  as  to  whether  the  outlawing  of  the  Communist 

67683—47 14 


206  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Paj'ty  Avoiild  serve  to  rid  Iloll^ywood.  shall  we  say,  of  Communist 
influence.  Naturally  the  Communists  are  entrenched  in  labor  and 
many  other  fields,  but  as  far  as  Hollywood  is  concerned  do  you  think 
the  Communist  Party  should  be  outlawed'^ 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Mr.  Stripling,  I  do  not  think  I  am  qualified  to 
answer  that  question  in  this  respect:  There  are  governmental  agen- 
cies who,  I  am  sure,  have  a  tremendous  amount  of  evidence  regarding 
the  Communist  Party  and  its  activities  in  this  country.  Those  govern- 
mental agencies,  I  feel,  and  the  Congress  of  the  IJnitefl  States,  are 
a  great  deal  more  qualified  to  decide  as  to  whether  the  Communist 
Party  should  be  outlawed  as  a  political  party  in  this  country,  or  not. 

If  you  are  asking  my  personal  opinion  I  do  not  believe  it  is  a 
political  party. 

Mr.  Striplixg.  What  do  you  consider  it  to  be,  Mr.  Montgomery? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  consider  it  a  subversive  group  just  as  I  con- 
sidered the  German-American  Bund  a  subversive  group. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  consider  it  to  be  in  fact  the  agent  of  a  foreign 
government  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  That  again  is  a  question  of  one's  qualifications 
to  make  that  decision.  I  assume  from  their  behavior  that  they  are 
and  it  has  been  testified  to  before  this  committee  that  they  are. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  Mr.  Montgomery,  you  indicated  that  at  the  time  this 
resolution  was  introduced  there  was  great  opposition  from  this  small 
minority.  The  point  I  am  interested  in  is  this :  You  said  they  behaved 
as  all  left-wing  groups  behaved.  Would  you  indicate  very  briefly  to 
the  committee  some  of  the  elements  of  behavior  which  in  your  opinion 
follow  that  line? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Yes,  sir.  The  confusion  of  the  issue  by  long  and 
protracted  discussion  is  one  of  the  maneuvers  used  by  these  people.  I 
am  afraid  this  sounds  a  little  melodramatic,  but  character  assassins 
of  the  proponents  of  the  issue  was  another  one. 

Mr.  Nixon.  Long  and  protracted  discussion  and  character  assassins 
were  tw^o  of  them  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Long  and  protracted  discussion,  let  me  say,  with 
the  aim  in  view  of  simpl.y  clouding  the  original  issue  of  the  reso- 
lution. 

]\Ir.  Nixon.  And  not  for  the  purpose  of  reaching  a  decision  on  the 
matter  at  hand  ? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  No,  sir;  definitely  not. 

Mr.  Nixon.  But  for  the  purpose  of  avoiding.a  decision  on  the  matter 
on  which  they  wanted  no  decision  made? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Yes,  sir;  exactly. 

Mr.  Nixon.  I  might  say,  Mr.  Montgomery,  des]nte  the  fact  that 
during  the  course  of  this  hearing,  as  the  chairman  has  indicated,  no 
applause  can  be  allowed  from  the  audience,  I  think  I  speak  for  the 
members  of  the  committee  and  for  the  members  of  the  audience  in  say- 
ing (hat  although  we  may  not  openly  express  our  approval  we  certainly 
wish  to  indicate  to  you  it  is  very  encouraging  to  find  a  nuin  in  your 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  207 

position  who  has,  throughout  the  United  States,  a  great  deal  of  re- 
spect among  a  great  number  of  people  for  what  you  have  done  on  the 
screen,  so  well  able  to  express  yourself  articulately,  intelligently,  and 
fairly  on  a  matter  whicli  is  of  great  interest  to  this  country  at  the 
present  time. 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Thank  you,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Montgomery,  have  you  been  smeared  as  every 
other  person  has  who  has  attacked  communism? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Yes,  sir ;  I  have. 

Mr.  McDowell.  They  have  called  you,  I  presume,  a  Fascist,  a 
stooge  of  your  producer,  and  all  that  sort  of  thing? 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Yes,  sir;  that  is  true.  It  does  not  bother  me 
very  much,  quite  frankly. 

Mr.  McDowell.  That  is  very  obvious.  It  is  good  to  have  you  here. 
You  are  as  good  a  citizen  as  you  are  an  actor,  and  that  is  tops. 

Mr.  JNIontgomery.  Thank  you,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  j^ou  very  much.  Do  you  have  any  more 
questions,  Mr.  Stripling? 

Mr.  Stripling.  No,  sir,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Mr.  Montgomery.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  have  your  permission  to 
make  one  statement? 

The  Chairman.  Yes;  proceed. 

Mr.  Montgomery.  I  have  been  watching  and  hearing  via  the  press 
and  radio  the  procedure  here  in  this  committee.  I  would  like  to  ask 
the  chairman's  permission  to  correct  one  impression  which  I  am  sure 
is  being  unintentionally  given  by  virtue  of  the  reporting  of  these 
hearings. 

I  am  sure,  as  I  say,  this  impression  is  unintentional. 

The  general  impression  as  we  came  across  the  country  to  these  hear- 
ings was  that  there  was  a  small  minority  within  Hollywood  fighting 
communism  and  fascism.  This  is  exactly  the  reverse  of  the  true  pic- 
ture. There  is  a  small  minority  in  Hollywood  wdio  might  be  inter- 
ested in  fascism  or  communism  and  I  do  not  think  that  we  who  have 
worked  in  this  industry  for  a  period  of  almost  20  years,  some  of  us, 
have  any  right  to  testify  before  this  committee  without  saying  that  we 
are  proud  to  be  members  of  this  industry. 

Thank  you  very  nuich. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Montgomery,  for  com- 
ing here  today .^* 
(Witness  excused.) 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  is  Mr.  George 
Murphy. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  George  Murphy. 

Mr.  Muri)hy.  do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about 
to  give  is  tlie  tVuth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help 
you  God? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  do,  so  help  me  God. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down,  please. 

^  See  appendix,  p.  n?,!,  for  exhibit  47. 


208  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY  OF  GEORGE  L.  MURPHY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Murphy,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and  pres- 
ent address,  please? 

Mr.  Murphy.  George  L.  Murphy,  911  North  Bedford  Drive,  Bev- 
erly Hills,  Calif. 

Mv.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  vou  born,  Mr.  Murphy? 

Mr.  Murphy.  New  Haven,  Conn.,  July  4,  1902. 

Mr.  Stripling.  AVhat  is  your  present  occupation? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Actor-dancer. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  questions  of  Mr.  Murphy  will 
be  asked  by  Mr.  Smith. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  agreeable.    Mr.  Smith. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Murph}^,  how  long  have  you  been  connected  with 
the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  have  been  employed  in  the  motion-picture  industry 
a  little  over  12  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild? 

Mr.  JMuRPHY.  I  am  and  have  been  a  member  for  about  10  years. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  offices  have  you  held  in  the  guild  and  do  you 
presently  hold  an  office  ? 

Mr.  Murphy.  At  present  I  am  a  third  vice  president.  Previous  to 
that  I  was  president  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  for  two  terms  and  for 
the  last  6  years  I  have  served  as  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors  of 
the  Screen  Actors  Guild. 

Mr,  Smith.  Mr.  INIurphy,  have  you  ever  been  a  member  of  any  group 
or  organization  that  you  would  consider  subversive? 

Mr.  JNIuRPHY.  No ;  I  have  not. 

Mr.  Smith.  Were  any  attempts  ever  made  to  get  you  to  join  any 
subversive  group? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Well,  when  I  was  first  made  a  member  of  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild  board  I  strangely  received  the  Daily  Worker  every  day 
for  a  year,  for  which  I  did  not  pay,  because  I  had  not  ordered  it. 

I  have  been  invited  to  attend  many  meetings.  I  have  been  asked  to 
donate  funds  to  many  causes.  Possibly  being  of  a  suspicious  nature 
1  like  to  make  sure  where  my  charity  funds  go  and  I  like  to  make  sure 
of  what  is  actually  the  purpose  of  the  meeting  I  attend,  so  that  I  have 
not  attended  any  of  those  meetings,  to  my  knowledge,  nor  have  I 
donated  money  to  any  of  those  funds. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  ever  joined  any  anti-Communist  groups? 

Mr.  MuRPiiY.  No ;  I  have  not  as  such.  I  am  a  member  of  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild  and  as  you  have  just  heard  ]Mr.  IMontgomery  read  into 
the  record  we  have  a  resolution  that  is  anti-Communist  and  anti- Fascist 
so  you  might  call  us  an  anti-Communist,  anti-Fascist  group. 

I  am  also  chairman  of  a  political  group  lately  formed  in  Hollywood. 
Among  the  things  it  hopes  to  do  is  fight  against  communism  and 
fascism. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Murphy,  were  you  president  of  the  Screen  Actors 
Guild  when  the  strike  started? 
Mr.  Murphy.  Yes ;  I  was. 
Mr.  Smith.  What  action  did  you  take? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Well,  immediately  when  the  strike  started  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild  foi-med  a  committee  that  met  with  the  committee  of  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild  and  the  Screen  Directors  Guild  in  the  hope  that 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  209 

we  could,  as  disinterested  parties,  find  some  means  whereby  the  men 
could  remain  at  work  while  the  argument  went  on  or  until  the  strike 
was  settled.  We  met  once.  There  was  a  suggestion  made  as  to  how 
to  proceed.  I  suggested  we  get  the  three  parties  to  agree  to  abide  by 
the  decision  of  a  proper  governmental  agency,  which  at  that  time 
would  be  the  NLE.B,  since  it  was  a  jurisdictional  strike. 

This  was  agreed  upon.  We  first  called  Mr.  Edward  Mannix,  who 
was  then  an  officer  with  the  Producers  Association,  He  said  he  would 
agree  to  sign  or  would  say  publicly  that  they  would  abide  by  the 
decision  of  such  a  proper  governmental  agency. 

The  second  party  called  was  one  of  the  members  of  the  striking 
unions.  He  told  us  in  no  uncertain  terms  his  boys  were  out  on  strike 
and  they  would  stay  there  for  7  years  if  necessary  until  a  lot  of  things 
he  was  dissatisfied  wath  in  Hollyw^ood  got  straightened  out. 

It  was  quite  obvious  we  were  going  to  accomplish  nothing.  Here 
was  a  man  who  had  his  neck  bowed,  who  was  mad,  and  w^as  not  in- 
terested in  settling  the  strike. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Muprhy,  did  this  plan  meet  wdth  any  success? 

Mr.  Murphy.  No  success  whatever.  As  I  say,  the  committee  met 
this  once  and  it  was  quite  obvious  that  we  were  not  going  to  accomplish 
anything.  When  you  are  not  accomplishing  anything  I  think  it  is  a 
little  silly  to  continue  to  hold  meetings. 

Mr.  Smith.  Did  you  take  any  further  action  ? 

Mr.  ]\IuRPHY.  Yes.  With  respect  to  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  I 
wanted  to  make  sure  of  the  feelings  and  the  views  of  our  membership. 
1  think  this  will  be  of  interest  to  the  committee  because  it  will  pretty 
well  show  the  actual  number  of  Communists  or  Communist  sympa- 
thizers or  people  who  have  been  misled  by  the  Communists. 

I  hope  the  committee  realizes  that  in  Hollywood  as  in  every  other 
part  of  the  country  there  are  an  awful  lot  of  good,  honest,  liberal 
people  who  are  being  used  by  the  Communists  and  wdio  are  sometimes 
sucked  into  these  things. 

We  called  a  mass  meeting  of  the  membership.  We  invited  Mr.  Her- 
bert Sorrell,  who  is  the  head  of  the  Conference  of  Studio  Unions, 
and  Mr.  Richard  Maltz,  who  is  the  president  of  the  lATSC,  We  gave 
them  each  a  half  hour  to  state  their  case  before  our  membership  and 
then  sent  out  a  secret  ballot  to  the  membership  to  find  out  their  exact 
wishes  in  the  matter. 

The  important  fact,  I  think,  is  that  the  ballots  came  back  97.3  per- 
cent not  to  join  the  strike.  Based  on  that  figure  I  w^ould  say  we  could 
safely  put  the  figure  of  active  Communists  at  below  1  percent  in  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild,  because  I  assume,  as  is  generally  the  case  with 
those  people,  all  of  their  people  voted  and  some  of  ours  ma}?^  not  have. 

Mr.  Smith.  Did  the  other  guilds  or  unions  take  such  a  vote,  to  your 
knowledge? 

Mr.  IVIuRPHY.  As  far  as  I  know  there  was  only  one  other  union  that 
took  a  secret  ballot  on  the  strike.  I  think  that  was  the  Screen  Office 
Employees  Guild.  A  strange  thing  happened  with  regard  to  it. 
The  ballot  w\as  taken  and  T  believe  the  tabulation  was  some  900  to  600 
not  to  join  the  strike,  but  they  were  ordered  to  join  the  strike  in  spite 
of  that  under  the  threat  they  would  lose  their  charter.  Their  charter 
was  from  the  painters'  union. 

Mr.  Smith.  Were  there  any  attempts  from  within  the  Screen  Actors 
Guild  to  change  the  guild's  policy? 


210  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Murphy.  Yes;  there  was  some  disagreement,  not  very  much. 
It  did  not  amount  to  very  much.  Some  people  thought,  and  there 
was  a  great  campaign  put  on,  to  the  effect  that  we  were  crossing  picket 
lines  where  brother  unionists  were  out  on  strike.  There  Avere  tlirow- 
awa^ys  which  called  Mr.  Arnold,  Mr.  Reagan,  and  myself  scabs.  Ac- 
tually we  felt  we  were  not  going  to  work  to  take  another  man's  job, 
which  is  Avhat  a  "scab"  is,  I  believe. 

As  to  the  people  who  took  that  position,  I  think  some  of  them  did 
it  sincerely.  I  believe,  however,  there  may  have  been  a  few  who  were 
taking  advantage  of  the  situation,  if  possible,  to  create  greater  turmoil 
within  the  industry. 

Mr.  Smith.  Was  there  any  direct  action  taken  by  this  minority 
group  ? 

Mr.  MunpHT.  Well,  one  thing  that  happened  at  one  of  the  later  mass 
meetings.  Late  in  the  meeting  there  Avas  a  proposal  from  the  floor,. 
a  resolution,  and  as  I  heard  it' read  from  the  floor  it  occurred  to  me 
that,  although  it  was  very  wordy  and  seemed  a  little  ambiguous,  that 
it  could  be  construed  to  put  us  right  in  the  middle  of  the  strike,  a 
position  that  had  been  directly  opposed  by  the  vote  of  our  membership. 
On  that  basis  I  declared  the  resolution  out  of  order.  This  was  quite 
late  in  the  meeting.  As  I  remember,  directly  that  I  declared  it  out  of 
order,  this  meeting  was  adjourned. 

I  think  at  this  time  possibly  40  percent  of  the  members  who  had 
attended  the  meeting  had  gone  home.  It  is  a  little  difficult  in  Holly- 
wood to  hold  meetings.  The  actors  who  are  Avorking,  as  most  of  you 
know,  and  the  ladies,  particularly,  have  to  get  up  at  5 :  30  or  6  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  and  even  a  lazy  fellow  like  myself,  I  haA^e  to  be  up 
at  7  o'clock.  So  they  are  inclinecl  to  leaAC  meetings  early.  And,  in  fact, 
they  are  a  little  hard  to  get  to  meetings — I  guess  like  most  Americans. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  know  who  proposed  this  resolution? 

Mr.  Mup.PHT.  I  do  not.  As  I  say,  it  was  late  in  the  meeting,  it  came 
from  the  back  of  the  floor,  and  the  proponent  did  not  announce  her 
name.    It  was  a  lady.  I  know  that. 

Mr.  Smith.  As  an  officer  and  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild 
for  a  number  of  years,  to  what  extent  has  communism  infiltrated  into 
the  Screen  Actors  Guild,  in  your  opinion  ? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Well,  in  mj^  opinion,  there  has  been  a  constant  irrita- 
tion from  a  very  small  group.  The  group  is  constantly  changing.  I 
think  that  some  of  the  members  of  the  group  haA^e  been  led  to  believe 
that  certain  things  are  true  that  are  not  true.  We  haA^e  had  experi- 
ence with  some  of  them  that  come  up  to  the  guild  office,  and  after 
asking  a  few  questions  and  seeing  the  records  and  documents  haA^e 
decided  that  they  have  been  misled,  that  they  have  taken  an  erroneous 
position  on  certain  things.  I  don't  think  actually,  numerically,  as  I 
said  before,  I  don't  think  that  they  amount  to  1  percent  of  the  guild 
membership. 

Mr.  Smith.  Noav,  you  heard  Mr.  Montgomery's  testimony  regarding 
the  resolution  that  was  adopted,  did  you  not  ? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  did. 

Mr.  Smith.  As  to  fascism  and  communism.  You  were  there.  I 
believe  you  were  chairman  of  that  particular  meeting;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Yes,  I  was ;  I  was  present. 

Mr.  Smith.  To  the  best  of  your  recollection,  was  his  testimony  cor- 
rect regarding  this  resolution  ? 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  211 

Mr.  Murphy.  Absolutely  correct. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  recall  any  other  instances  where  the  guild  has 
taken  action  to  combat  communism? 

Mr.  MuRPPiY.  Well,  one  thing  occurred  to  me.  While  I  was  presi- 
dent of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  the  bylaws  provided  that  15  percent 
of  the  membership  present  at  any  meeting  would  constitute  a  quorum; 
a  quorum  making  it  possible  for  15  percent  to  conduct  business  and 
to  decide  on  policy  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild.  I  am  a  very  bad 
mathematician,  but  it  occurred  to  me  that  a  half  of  15  percent  was 
71/^  percent;  71/2  percent  plus  one  vote  could  decide  the  future  policy 
of  the  guild.  It  seemed  to  me  that  this  was  a  very  undemocratic  proc- 
ess. There  was  some  argument  made  that  if  people  didn't  have  the 
interest  enough  in  their  organization  to  attend  meetings  that  they 
shouldn't  have  a  right  to  decide  policy.  I,  along  with  many  others 
on  the  board,  took  the  position  that  as  long  as  they  were  members 
in  good  standing,  whether  they  attended  meetings  or  not,  for  what- 
ever meeting,  that  they  had  the  same  rights  in  the  organization  in 
deciding  policy. 

From  this  discussion  the  bylaws  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  were 
changed  so  that  at  the  present  time  any  matter  of  importance  or  any 
matter  that  pertains  to  the  policy  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  and  the 
affairs  of  the  general  membership  there  is  sent  by  mail  a  ballot  on  it 
to  every  member  in  good  standing  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild. 

Mr.  Smith.  Leaving  aside  for  the  moment  the  Screen  Actors  Guild, 
do  you  feel  there  is  any  communism  in  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mr,  Murphy.  Yes;  I  think  there  is  communism  in  the  motion-pic- 
ture industry — as  there  is  in  practically  every  other  industry  in  our 
Nation  today.  I  think  that  the  screen  has  been  very  successful  in 
keeping  any  attempts  to  propagandize  off  the  screen.  As  I  say,  I 
am  an  actor.  I  am  not  as  conversant  as  some  others  who  have  testiiEied, 
with  regard  to  the  problems  of  the  writers  and  producers  and  directors. 
I  am  handed  a  script.  Once  in  a  while  I  try  to  change  a  line  or  two 
or  a  word  or  two,  and  maybe  add  a  dance  step,  but  that  is  about  the 
extent  of  my  business. 

However,  I  think  there  has  been  definite  evidence  that  there  are 
Communists  at  work  in  the  picture  industry  and  it  seems  to  me  that 
it  would  be  absolutely  consistent  with  the  policy,  that  being  such  a 
means  of  communication,  I  think  that  they  probably  would  be  very 
anxious  to  be  at  work  in  the  picture  industry. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  ever  been  called  upon  to  give  lines  in  a  picture 
which  you  felt  were  communistic  ? 

Mr.  Murphy.  No ;  I  have  not. 

Mr.  Smith.  Supposing  you  were  called  upon  to  give  such  lines,  what 
would  be  your  position? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  am  afraid,  as  they  sav  in  the  theater,  T  would  dry 
up,  I  wouldn't  read  the  lines,  nor  would  T  play  the  part  if  I  considered 
the  part  to  be  one  that  spread  Communist  propaganda. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  feel  that  if  things  continue  as  they  are  the  Com- 
munists might  gain  enough  strength  to  control  the  industi-y? 

Mr.  Murphy.  There  is  much  discussion  about  Communist  propa- 
ganda. -  T  think  all  who  read  the  newspapers  and  the  columns  realize 
that  the  Communist  Partv  in  the  past  has  appeared  to  be  in  no  par- 
ticular hurry  about  achieving  its  ends.  I  think  to  look  for  direct  Com- 
munist propaganda  in  pictures  at  this  particular  moment  might  be  a 


212  COMMUNISM   IX    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTKY 

mistake.  I  think  we  should  be  well  on  our  guard  that  the  infiltration 
maybe  is  taking  place  at  this  time  so  that  after  the  infiltration  has 
reached  a  saturation  point  later  on  the  screen  may  be  used  in  a  man- 
ner inimical  to  the  best  mterests  of  our  country. 

Mr,  Smith.  Do  you  believe  the  Communist  Party  is  an  agency  of  a 
foreign  enemy? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  have  no  way  of  proving  this,  but  from  the  reading 
that  I  have  done,  and  listening  to  the  radio,  I  believe  that  the  Com- 
munist Party  members  are  agents  of  a  foreign  country. 

Mr.  Smith.  As  stated  to  Mr.  Montgomery  by  Mr.  Stripling,  there 
are  two  bills  presently  pending  before  this  committee  in  regard  to  the 
Communist  Party.  What  is  your  thought  as  to  what  action  should  be 
taken  on  those  bills? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  think  if  the  Government  of  the  United  States  de- 
cides that  the  Communist  Party  is  taking  orders  from  a  foreign  gov- 
ernment, and  its  members  are  acting  as  agents  of  a  foreign  gov- 
ernment, I  think  they  should  be  so  labeled,  and  I  don't  think  that  an 
agent  of  a  foreign  government  should  be  allowed  to  hide  under  the 
guise  that  he  is  a  member  of  a  legal  American  political  party.  I  think 
the  differentiation  between  the  political  party  and  the  actual  condi- 
tion should  be  brought  home  to  the  American  public. 

No.  2,  I  think  there  are  agencies  of  the  United  States  Government 
which  have  much  more  proof,  a  great  many  more  facts  than  we  have. 
I  think  if  the  information  obtained  by  those  agencies  were  made  pub- 
lic to  the  people,  I  think  that  the  great  American  public  would  tell 
the  Congress  of  the  United  States  very  quickly  and  without  question 
what  action  they  think  should  be  taken. 

With  regard  to  the  motion-picture  industry,  I  would  wish  that 
there  would  be  some  attempt,  and  I  know  in  the  past  there  have  been 
attempts,  to  maybe  tell  the  American  story  truly  in  foreign  countries, 
and  I  think  that  there  is  no  better  way  to  tell  this  story  than  through 
the  motion  picture.  I  am  certain  from  conversations  that  I  have  had 
with  the  leaders  of  the  industry  that  they  would  be  terribly  anxious 
to  cooperate  in  any  way.  For  instance,  with  a  program  that  might 
possibly  be  set  up  with  the  State  Department  in  telling  the  actual 
American  story  and  combating  such  un-American  propaganda  as 
greeted  me  this  morning  wdien  I  found  in  the  newspaper  under  my 
door  at  the  hotel  something  to  the  effect  that  the  Russian  Government 
orders  that  all  Communists  should  immediately  go  to  work  on  the 
Marshall  plan  and  see  if  they  can't  break  that  up. 

The  Chairman.  Along  that  same  line,  don't  you  think  it  also 
advisable  that  the  moving-picture  industry  produce  some  pictures 
to  be  shown  in  the  United  States  showing  the  dangers  of  com- 
m-unism  here? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  think  that  might  be  very  helpful ;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  have  no  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Have  you  been  smeared  too,  Mr.  Murphy? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Well,  during  the  strike  there  was  a  routine  of  hand- 
ing out  throw-aways  around  the  studios  and  around  town  every  day 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTUEE   INDUSTRY  213 

and  they  made  up  three  characters  that  were  known  as  Ronnie,  Eddie, 
and  George— Ronald  Reagan,  Eddie  Arnold,  and  George  Murphy. 
We  were  on  the  committee  that  had  gone  back  to  Chicago  during  the 
strike,  you  see,  and  we  were  smeared,  we  were  called  "producers'  men." 

Mr.  McDowell.  Stooges? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Stooges,  yes.  And  I  think  the  proof  of  whether  we 
were  stooges  or  not  is  evidenced  by  the  contract  that  the  Screen  Actors 
(iuild  concluded,  which  is  the  best  ever  concluded  with  the  pro- 
ducers, and  I  think  one  of  the  best  labor  contracts  ever  written. 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  have  been  called  a  Fascist,  no  doubt? 

Mr.  Murphy.  Yes;  I  have  been  called  a  Fascist,  but  I  don't  pay 
an  awful  lot  of  attention  to  that.  I  think  maybe  the  time  has  come 
when  anybody  who  disagrees  with  a  Communist  is  a  Fascist — and  I 
certainly  disagree  with  a  Communist. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Well,  you  have  been  a  good  witness.  It  is  very 
fortunate  for  the  American  film  industry,  producers,  actors,  workers, 
painters,  everybody  else,  that  there  has  been  a  group  of  you  fellows 
out  there,  men  and  women,  who  have  had  the  courage  of  your  con- 
victions, and  have  stood  up  and  fought.     Yon  have  done  a  fine  job. 

Mr.  Murphy.  If  I  may  say  so,  Mr.  Chairman,  we  had  more  than 
the  courage  of  our  convictions.  We  had  what  we  knew  to  be  the 
backing  of  the  great  majority  of  our  membership,  and  when  you  are 
carrying  out  what  you  know  to  be  the  will  of  the  people  which  you  are 
representing  you  clon't  have  much  hesitancy  ancl  your  way  is  pretty 
clear. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon. 

Mr.  Nixon.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much.  It  was  very  fine  of  you  to 
come  here  today.'^ 

The  next  witness. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Ronald  Reagan. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are 
about  to  give  is  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  anc(  nothing  but  the  truth  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  So  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  RONALD  REAGAN 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Reagan,  will  you  please  state  your  full  name 
and  present  address? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Ronald  Reagan,  9137  Cordell  Drive,  Los  Angeles  46, 
Calif.  ^  ^  y 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Reagan? 
Mr.  Reagan.  Tampico,  111.,  February  6,  1911. 
Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation  ? 
Mr.  Reagan.  Motion-picture  actor. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  engaged  in  that  profession? 
Mr.  Reagan.  Since  June  1937  with  a  brief  interlude  of  31/2  years — 
that  at  the  time  didn't  seem  very  brief. 

•^  See  appendix,  p.  S.il.  for  exhibit  48. 


214  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Striplixo.  What  period  was  tluit? 

Mr.  Reagan.  That  was  duriiijij  tlie  late  war. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  branch  of  the  service  were  you  in  ? 

Mr.  Keagan.  Well,  sir,  I  had  been  for  several  years  in  the  Reserve 
as  an  ofiicer  in  the  United  States  Cavalry,  but  I  was  assigned  to  the 
Air  Corps. 

Mr.  Stripling.  That  is  kind  of  typical  of  the  Army,  isn't  it? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir.  The  first  thing  the  Air  Corps  did  was  loan 
me  to  the  Signal  Corps. 

Mr.  McDowell.  You  didn't  wear  spurs? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  did  for  a  short  while. 

The  Chairman.  I  think  this  has  little  to  do  with  the  facts  we  are 
seeking ;  proceed. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Reagan,  are  you  a  member  of  any  gTiild? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir;  the  Screen  Actors  Guild. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  liave  you  been  a  member  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Since  June  1937. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  the  president  of  the  guild  at  the  present 
time  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  were  you  elected  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  That  was  several  months  ago.  I  was  elected  to  replace 
Mr.  Montgomery  when  he  resigned. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  does  your  term  expire  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  The  elections  come  up  next  month. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  held  any  other  position  in  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild? 

Mr.  ReaGx\n.  Yes,  sir.  Just  prior  to  the  war  I  was  a  member  of 
the  board  of  directors,  and  just  after  the  war,  prior  to  my  being  elected 
president,  I  was  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors, 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors,  as  president 
of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild,  and  as  an  active  member,  have  you  at  any 
time  observed  or  noted  within  the  organization  a  clique  of  either  Com- 
munists or  Fascists  who  were  attempting  to  exert  influence  or  pressure 
on  the  guild? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Well,  sir,  my  testimony  must  be  very  similar  to  that 
of  Mr.  Murphy  and  Mr.  Montgomery.  There  has  been  a  small  group 
within  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  which  has  consistently  opposed  the 
policy  of  the  guild  board  and  officers  of  the  guild,  as  evidenced  by  the 
vote  on  various  issues.  That  small  clique  referred  to  has  been  suspected 
of  more  or  less  following  the  tactics  that  w^e  associate  with  the  Com- 
munist Part3^ 

Mr.  Stripling.  Woidd  v<m  refer  to  them  as  a  disruptive  influence 
within  the  guild? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  would  say  that  at  times  they  have  attempted  to  be  a 
disruptive  influence. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  no  knowledge  yourself  as  to  whether  or 
not  any  of  them  are  members  of  the  Communist  Party  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  No,  sir ;  I  have  no  investigative  force,  or  anything,  and 
I  do  not  know. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Has  it  ever  been  reported  to  you  that  certain  mem- 
bers of  the  guild  were  Communists? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir;  I  have  heard  different  discussions  and  some 
of  them  tagged  as  Communists. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY  215 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  heard  that  from  any  reliable  source  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Well,  I  considered  the  source  as  reliable  at  the  time. 

Mr.  Stripling,  Would  you  say  that  this  clique  has  attempted  to 
-dominate  the  <^uild? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Well,  sir,  by  attempting  to  put  over  their  own  par- 
ticular views  on  various  issues,  I  guess  in  regard  to  that  you  would 
have  to  say  that  our  side  w'as  attempting  to  dominate,  too;  because 
we  were  fighting  just  as  hard  to  put  over  our  views,  in  which  we  sin- 
cerely believed,  and  I  think  we  were  proven  correct  by  the  figures — 
Mr.  Murphy  gave  the  figures — and  those  figures  were  always  approxi- 
mately the  same,  an  average  of  90  percent  or  better  of  the  Screen 
Actors  Guild  voted  in  favor  of  those  matters  now  guild  policy. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Reagan,  there  has  been  testimony  to  the  effect 
here  that  numerous  Communist-front  organizations  have  been  set  up 
in  Hollywood.  Have  you  ever  been  solicited  to  join  any  of  those 
organizations  or  any  organization  which  you  considered  to  be  a  Com- 
munist-front organization  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Well,  sir,  I  have  received  literature  from  an  organiza- 
tion called  the  Committee  for  a  Far-Eastern  Democratic  Policy.  I 
don't  know  whether  it  is  Communist  or  not.  I  only  know  that  I  didn't 
like  their  views  and  as  a  result  I  didn't  want  to  liave  anything  to  do 
with  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  you  ever  solicited  to  sponsor  the  Joint  Anti- 
Fascist  Refugee  Committee  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  No,  sir ;  I  was  never  solicitied  to  do  that,  but  T  found 
myself  misled  into  being  a  sponsor  on  another  occasion  for  a  function 
that  was  held  under  the  auspices  of  the  Joint  Anti-Fascist  Refugee 
Committee. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Did  you  knowingly  give  your  name  as  a  sponsor? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Not  knowingly.  Could  I  explain  what  that  occasion 
was? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  was  called  several  weeks  ago.  There  happened  at 
the  time  in  Hollywood  to  be  a  financial  drive  on  to  raise  money  to  build 
a  badly  needed  hospital  in  a  certain  section  of  town,  called  the  All 
Nations  Hospital.  I  think  the  purpose  of  the  building  is  so  obvious 
by  the  title  that  it  has  the  support  of  most  of  the  people  of  Holly- 
wood— or,  of  Los  Angeles,  I  should  say.  Certainly  of  most  of  the 
doctors,  because  it  is  very  badly  needed. 

Some  time  ago  I  was  called  to  the  telephone.  A  woman  introduced 
herself  by  name.  Knowing  that  I  didn't  know  her  I  didn't  make  any 
particular  note  of  her  name  and  I  couldn't  give  it  now.  She  told  me 
that  there  Avould  be  a  recital  held  at  which  Paul  Robeson  would  sing 
and  she  said  that  all  the  money  for  the  tickets  would  go  to  the  hos- 
pital and  asked  if  she  could  use  my  name  as  one  of  the  sponsors. 
I  hesitated  for  a  moment  because  I  don't  think  that  Mr.  Robeson's 
and  my  political  views  coincide  at  all  and  then  I  thought  I  was  being 
a  little  stupid  because,  I  thought,  here  is  an  occasion  where  Mr.  Robe- 
son is  perhaps  appearing  as  an  artist  and  certainly  the  object,  raising 
money,  is  above  any  political  consideration,  it  is  a  hospital  supported 
by  everyone.  I  have  contributed  money  myself.  So  I  felt  a  little  bit 
as  if  I  had  been  stuffy  for  a  minute  and  I  said,  certainly,  you  can  use 
my  name. 


216  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

I  left  town  for  a  couple  of  weeks  and  when  I  returned  I  was  handed 
a  newspaper  story  that  said  that  this  recital  was  held  at  the  Shrine 
Auditorium  in  Los  Angeles  under  the  auspices  of  the  Joint  Anti- 
Fascist  Refugee  Committee.  The  principal  speaker  was  Emil  Lustig, 
Robert  Burman  took  up  a  collection,  and  remnants  of  the  Abraham 
Lincoln  Brigade  were  paraded  to  the  platform.  I  did  not  in  the 
newspaper  story  see  one  Avord  about  the  hospital.  I  called  the  news- 
paper and  said  I  am  not  accustomed  to  writing  to  editors,  but  would 
like  to  explain  my  position,  and  he  laughed  and  said.  "You  needn't 
bother,  you  are  about  the  fiftieth  person  that  has  called  with  the  same 
idea,  including  most  of  the  legitimate  doctors  who  had  also  been  listed 
as  sponsors  of  that  affair." 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  say  from  your  observation  that  that  is 
typical  of  the  tactics  or  strategy  of  the  Communists,  to  solicit  and 
use  the  names  of  prominent  people  to  either  raise  money  or  gain 
support  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  think  it  is  in  keeping  with  their  tactics ;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  there  is  anything  democratic  about 
those  tactics  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  I  do  not,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  president  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  you  are 
familiar  with  the  jurisdictional  strike  which  has  been  going  on  in 
Hollywood  for  some  time  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  had  any  conferences  with  any  of  the 
labor  officials  regarding  this  strike? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Yes,  sir.  In  fact,  some  14  days  or  so  before  the 
strike  actually  took  place  our  guild,  feeling  that  we  were  representing 
our  actors  to  the  best  of  our  ability,  and  this  being  a  situation  in 
which  the  studios  might  be  closed,  we  met  with  the  producers,  met 
with  both  factions  in  the  jurisdictional  dispute  in  an  attempt  to  settle 
that  strike.  We  continued  meeting  with  them  separately  and  to- 
gether. I  believe  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  committee  w'hich  put  these 
people  in  one  room  and  tried  to  settle  the  strike  perhaps  is  better 
informed  on  the  situation  and  on  the  jurisdictional  strike  than  any 
other  group  in  the  motion-picture  industry. 

We  met  repeatedly  and  we  met  continuously  for  7  months  and  then 
intermittently  from  that  7  months'  period  on.  The  strike  is  still 
continuing. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  the  Communists  have  partici- 
pated in  any  way  in  this  strike  ? 

Mr.  Reagan.  Sir,  the  first  time  that  this  word  "Communist"  was 
ever  injected  into  any  of  the  meetings  concerning  the  strike  was  at 
a  meeting  in  Chicago  with  Mr.  William  Hutchinson,  president  of 
the  carpenters  union,  who  were  on  strike  at  the  time.  He  asked  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild  to  submit  terms  to  Mr.  Walsh,  for  Walsh  to 
give  in  in  the  settling  of  this  strike,  and  he  told  us  to  tell  ISlr.  Walsh 
that  if  he  would  give  in  on  these  terms  he  in  turn  would  run  this  Sor- 
rell  and  the  other  Commies  out — I  am  quoting  him — and  break  it  up. 
I  might  add  that  Mr.  Walsh  and  Mr.  Sorrell  were  running  the  strike 
for  Mr.  Hutchinson  in  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Reagan,  what  is  your  feeling  about  what  steps 
should  be  taken  to  rid  the  motion-picture  industry  of  any  Communist 
influences,  if  they  are  there  ? 


COMMUNISM    IX    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  217 

Mr.  Reagax.  Well,  sir,  I  would  like  to  say,  as  Mr.  Montgomery  and 
Mr.  Murpliy  have  indicated,  they  have  done  it  very  well,  i  have  been 
alarmed  by  the  misapprehension,  the  feeling  aromid,  that  it  was  a 
minority  fighting  against  a  majority  on  this  issue  in  our  business,  and 
1  would  like  in  answering  that  (juestion  to  reiterate  what  those  gentle- 
men have  said,  that  rather  UU  percent  of  us  are  pretty  well  aware  of 
what  is  going  on,  and  1  think  within  the  bounds  of  our  democratic 
rights,  and  never  once  stepping  over  the  rights  given  us  by  democracy, 
we  have  done  a  pretty  good  job  in  our  business  of  keeping  those 
people's  activities  curtailed.  After  all,  we  must  recognize  them  at 
present  as  a  political  party.  On  that  basis  we  have  exposed  their 
lies  when  we  came  across  them,  we  have  opposed  their  propaganda, 
and  I  can  certainly  testify  that  in  the  case  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild 
we  have  been  eminently  successful  in  preventing  them  from,  with 
their  usual  tactics,  trying  to  run  a  majority  of  an  organization  with 
a  Avell  organized  minority. 

So  that  fundamentally  I  would  say  in  opposing  those  people  that 
the  best  thing  to  do  is  to  make  democracy  work.  In  the  Screen  Actors 
Guild  we  make  it  work  by  insuring  everyone  a  vote  and  by  keeping 
everj'one  informed.  1  believe  that,  as  Thomas  Jefferson  put  it,  if  all 
the  American  people  know  all  of  the  facts  they  will  never  make  a 
mistake. 

Whether  the  party  should  be  outlawed,  I  agree  Avith  the  gentlemen 
that  preceded  me  that  that  is  a  matter  for  the  Government  to  decide. 
As  a  citizen  I  would  hesitate,  or  not  like,  to  see  any  political  party 
outlawed  on  the  basis  of  its  political  ideology.  We  have  spent  170 
years  in  this  country  on  the  basis  that  democracy  is  strong  enough  to 
stand  up  and  fight  against  the  inroads  of  any  ideology.  However,  if  it 
is  proven  that  an  organization  is  an  agent  of  a  power.,  a  foreign  power, 
or  in  any  way  not  a  legitimate  political  party,  and  I  think  the  Govern- 
ment is  capable  of  proving  that,  if  the  proof  is  there,  then  that  is 
another  matter. 

I  do  not  know  whether  I  have  answered  3'our  question  or  not.  I,  like 
Mr.  Montgomery,  would  like  at  this  moment  to  say  I  happen  to  be 
very  proud  of  the  industry  in  which  I  work ;  I  happen  to  be  very  proud 
of  the  way  in  which  we  conducted  the  fight.  I  do  not  believe  the  Com- 
munists have  ever  at  any  time  been  able  to  use  the  motion-picture 
screen  as  a  sounding  board  for  their  philosophy  or  ideology.  I  think 
that  will  continue  as  long  the  people  in  Hollywood  continue  as  they 
are,  which  is  alert,  conscious  of  it,  and  fighting.  I  would  also  like  to 
say  that  I  think  we  can  match  the  record  of  our  industry  in  the  con- 
tribution to  the  social  welfare  against  that  of  any  industry  in  the 
United  States. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Reagan,  you  have  testified  here  concerning  the 
Screen  Actors  Guild  and  the  record  that  you  people  have  made  within 
that  guild.  You  are  not  aware,  however,  of  the  efforts  which  the 
Communists  have  made  within  the  Screen  Writers  Guild,  are  you? 

Mr.  Reagax.  Sir,  like  the  other  gentlemen,  I  must  say  that  that  is 
hearsay.    I  have  heard  discussions  concerning  it. 

The  CiiAiHMAX.  I  think  we  have  had  testimony  with  regard  to  the 
Screen  Writers  Guild.  These  people  are  more  fully  acquainted  with 
the  Screen  Actors  Guild. 

Ml'.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  these  three  witnesses  were  brought 
here  simply  to  testify,  as  president  and  past  presidents  of  the  Screen 


218  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

Actors  Guild,  as  to  the  possible  infiltration  within  that  organization. 
As  you  are  aware  w^e  have  heard  numerous  witnesses  on  the  Screen 
Writers  Guild.    Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at  this  time. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Wood? 

Mr.  Wood.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Nixon? 

Mr.  Nixon.  No'  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail'^ 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  There  is  one  thing  that  you  said  that  interested  me 
very  much.  That  was  the  quotation  from  Jefferson.  That  is  just  why 
this  committee  was  created  by  the  House  of  Representatives,  to 
acquaint  the  American  people  with  the  facts.  Once  the  American 
people  are  acquainted  with  the  facts  there  is  no  question  but  what 
the  American  people  will  do  a  job,  the  kind  of  a  job  that  they  want 
done ;  that  is,  to  make  America  just  as  pure  as  we  can  possibly  make  it. 

We  want  to  thank  you  very  much  for  coming  here  today. 

Mr.  Reagan.  Sir,  if  I  might,  in  regard  to  that,  say  that  what  I  was 
tr\'ing  to  express,  and  didn't  do  very  well,  was  also  this  other  fear. 
I  detest,  I  abhor  their  philosophy,  but  I  detest  more  than  that  their 
tactics,  which  are  those  of  the  fifth  coliunn,  and  are  dishonest,  but  at 
the  same  time  I  never  as  a  citizen  w^ant  to  see  our  country  become 
urged,  by  either  fear  or  resentment  of  this  group,  that  we  ever  com- 
promise with  any  of  otir  democratic  principles  through  that  fear  or 
resentment.     I  still  think  that  democracy  can  do  it. 

The  Chairman.  AVe  agree  with  that.     Thank  you  very  much."*' 

Mr.  Smith,  Mr.  Russell,  Mr.  Leckie  w'ill  escort  those  three  witnesses 
from  the  room,  please,  if  they  care  to  go  at  this  time. 

The  Chair  would  like  to  make  this  announcement.  The  Chair  would 
like  to  announce  the  witnesses  for  this  afternoon.  The  witnesses  this 
afternoon  will  be  Mr.  Leo  McCarey  and  Mr.  Gary  Cooper.  We  will 
recess  until  2  o'clock. 

(Thereupon,  at  12  noon,  a  recess  was  taken  until  2  p.  m.) 

afternoon  session 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  w^ill  come  to  order.  Everyone  will 
please  take  their  seats. 

The  Chair  would  like  to  announce  at  this  time  that  the  witnesses 
for  tomorrow  are  Mrs.  Lela  Rogers,  Mr.  Roy  Brewer,  Mr.  Walt  Disney, 
and  Mr.  Oliver  Carlson. 

The  first  witness. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  there  will  be  two  witnesses  this  after- 
noon, Mr.  Gary  Cooper  and  Mr.  Leo  McCarey.  After  that,  there 
are  some  matters  that  may  be  taken  up  in  executive  session,  if  that  is 
possible. 

The  Chairman.  The  committee  will  meet  in  executive  session  this 
afternoon  when  the  hearing  is  concluded  to  take  up  those  matters. 

Mr.  Gary  Cooper,  will  you  please  stand  and  raise  your  right  hand  ? 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is 
the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

^  See  appendix,  p.  '>'.\2,  for  exliibit  49. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  219 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  do. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  GARY  COOPER 

Mr.  Stkiplixg.  Mr.  Cooper,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address,  please  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  M}^  name  is  Gary  Cooper;  I  live  in  Los  Angeles,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Cooper? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  was  born  in  Helena,  Mont.,  in  19(J1. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  present  occupation  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  An  actor. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Cooper,  you  are  here  in  response  to  a  subpena 
which  was  served  upon  you  on  September  2G;  are  you  not?  ^^ 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes;  I  am. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  interrogation  of  Mr.  Cooper  will 
be  done  by  JNIr.  Smith. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith.    We  will  have  more  order,  please. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Cooper,  how  long  have  you  been  an  actor? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  huve  been  an  actor  since  1925. 

Mr.  S-MiTH.  And  how  long  have  you  been  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Since  1924. 

^Ir.  Smith.  I  believe  you  made  many  pictures,  some  of  which  pic- 
tures are  Unconquered,  Pride  of  the  Yankees,  Saratoga  Trunk,  Mr. 
Deeds  Goes  to  Town,  and  you  are  presently  making  Good  Sam;  is  that 
correct  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Smith  and  Mr.  Cooper,  will  you  please  speak 
up? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Smith.  Are  you  a  member  of  the  Screen  Actors  Guild? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes;  I  have  been  a  member  since  the  guild  was  or- 
ganized. 

Mr.  Smith.  During  the  time  that  you  have  been  in  Hollywood,  have 
you  ever  observed  any  conmiunistic  influence  in  Hollywood  or  in  the 
motion-picture  industry  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  believe  I  have  noticed  some. 

Mr.  Smith.  What  do  you  believe  the  principal  medium  is  that  they 
use  Hollywood  or  the  industry  to  inject  propaganda? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  believe  it  is  done  through  word  of  mouth 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  speak  louder,  please,  Mr,  Cooper? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  believe  it  is  done  through  word  of  mouth  and  through 
the  medium  of  pami)hleting — and  writers,  I  suppose. 

Mr.  Smith.  By  word  of  mouth,  what  do  you  mean,  Mr.  Cooper? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  mean  sort  of  social  gatherings. 

Mr.  S-AiiTii.  That  has  been  your  observation? 

Mr.  Cooper.  That  has  been  my  only  observation;  yes. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  tell  us  some  of  the  statements  that  you  may 
have  heard  at  these  gatherings  that  you  believe  are  communistic? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  have  heard  quite  a  few,  I  think,  from  time  to 
time  over  the  years.  Well,  I  have  heard  tossed  around  such  state- 
s' See  appendix,  p.  5:^2.  for  exhibit  ~>0. 


220  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

meiits  as,  "Don't  you  think  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  is 
about  150  years  out  of  date?"  and — oh,  I  don't  know — I  have  heard 
people  mention  that,  well,  "Perhaps  this  would  be  a  more  efficient 
Government  without  a  Congress" — which  statements  I  think  are  very 
un-American. 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  ever  observed  any  communistic  information 
in  any  scripts  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  have  turned  down  (|uite  a  few  scripts  because 
I  thought  they  were  tinged  with  communistic  ideas. 
Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  name  any  of  those  scripts? 
Mr.  Cooper.  No;  I  can't  recall  any  of  those  scripts  to  mind. 

Mr.  Smith.  Can  you  tell  us 

Mr.  Cooper.  The  titles. 

The  Chairman.  Just  a  minute.  Mr.  Cooper,  you  haven't  got  that 
bad  a  memoiy. 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  beg  your  pardon,  sir? 

The  Chairman.  I  say,  you  haven't  got  that  bad  a  memory,  have 
you  ?  You  must  be  able  to  remember  some  of  those  scripts  you  turned 
down  because  you  thought  they  were  Communist  scripts. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  can't  actually  give  you  a  title  to  any  of  them; 
no. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  think  it  over,  then,  and  supply  the  com- 
mittee with  a  list  of  those  scripts? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  don't  think  I  could,  because  most  of  the  scripts  I  read 
at  night,  and  if  they  don't  look  good  to  me  I  don't  finish  them  or  if  I 
do  finish  them  I  send  them  back  as  soon  as  possible  to  their  author. 

The  Chairman.  I  understand.  I  didn't  understand  you  before. 
Go  ahead. 

Mr.  McDowell,.  That  is  the  custom  of  most  actors,  most  stars,  Mr. 
Cooper  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes,  I  believe  so;  yes  sir.  As  to  the  material,  which  is 
more  important  than  the  name  of  the  script,  I  did  turn  back  one  script 
because  the  leading  character  in  the  play  was  a  man  whose  life's  am- 
bition was  to  organize  an  army  in  the  United  States,  an  army  of  sol- 
diers who  would  never  fight  to  defend  their  country.  I  don't  remem- 
ber any  more  details  of  the  play,  but  that  was  enough  of  a  basic  idea 
for  me  to  send  it  back  quickly  to  its  author. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Cooj^er,  have  you  ever  had  any  personal  experi- 
ence where  you  feel  the  Communist  Party  may  have  attempted  to 
use  3^ou? 

Mr.  Cooper.  They  haven't  attempted  to  use  me,  I  don't  think,  be- 
cause, ai^parently,  they  know  that  I  am  not  very  sympathetic  to  com- 
munism. Several  years  ago,  when  communism  was  more  of  a  social 
chit-chatter  in  parties  for  offices,  and  so  on,  when  communism  didn't 
have  the  implications  that  it  has  now,  discussion  of  communism  was 
more  open  and  I  remember  hearing  statements  from  some  folks  to 
the  effect  that  the  comnnmistic  system  had  a  great  many  features 
that  were  desirable,  (me  of  which  would  be  desirable  to  us  in  the  mo- 
tion-picture business  in  that  it  offered  the  actors  and  artists — in  other 
words,  the  creative  people — a  special  place  in  Government  where  we 
would  be  souiewhat  immune  from  the  ordinary  leveling  of  income. 
And  as  I  remember,  some  actor's  name  was  mentioned  to  me  who  had 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  221 

a  house  in  Moscow  which  was  very  large — he  had  three  cars,  and 
stutf,  with  his  house  being  quite  a  bit  larger  than  my  house  in  Beverly 
Hills  at  the  time — and  it  k)oked  to  me  like  a  pretty  phony  come-on 
to  us  in  the  picture  business.  From  that  time  on,  I  could  never  take 
any  of  this  pinko  mouthing  very  seriously,  because  I  didn't  feel  it  was 
on  the  level. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Chairman,  we  have  several  official  documents  that 
we  have  obtained  through  the  State  Department,  which  I  believe 
clearly  shows  that  the  Communist  Party  attempts  to  use  actors  in- 
dividually througliout  the  world  to  further  their  cause.  With  your 
permission,  I  would  like  to  show  one  of  these  documents  to  Mr.  Cooper 
and  have  him  read  it  to  the  committee. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  would  like  to  have  you  glance  at  this  document,  Mr. 
Cooper,  and  read  to  the  committee  from  this  document. 

Mr.  CoorER.  Ahem 

Mr.  Smith.  Just  one  moment,  please,  Mr.  Cooper.  This  document 
from  which  Mr.  Cooper  is  going  to  read  was  distributed  in  pamphlets 
in  Italy  during  May  of  19-i7.-^« 

Mr.  Cooper.  Shall  I  read  it? 

Mr.  Smith.  By  the  Communist  Party.     Yes,  sir;  go  ahead. 

Mr.  Cooper  (reading)  : 

Gary  Cooper,  who  took  part  in  the  fights  for  the  independence  of  Spain,  held 
a  speech  liefore  a  cro\^(l  of  90,000  in  Phihidelphia  on  the  occasion  of  the  con- 
secration of  the  hanner  of  tlie  Phihidelphia  Communist  Federation. 

Between  other  things,  he  said:  "In  our  days  it  is  the  greatest  lionor  to  be  a 
Communist.  I  wish  the  wliole  world  to  understand  what  we  Communists  really 
are.  There  could  be  nobody  then  who  might  say  that  we  are  enemies  of  man- 
kind and  peace.  Those  who  want  to  discuss  Communist  ideas  should  first  get 
to  know  them.  Americans  learn  this  with  great  difficulty.  Millions  of  people 
from  other  continents  regard  America  as  a  center  of  modern  civilization,  but 
only  we  Americans  can  see  how  false  this  opinion  is.  Let  us  be  frank.  Our 
country  is  a  country  of  gold,  silver,  petrol,  and  great  railways.  But  at  the 
same  time  it  is  a  country  where  Rockefeller,  Ford,  and  Rothschild  use  tear  gas 
against  striking  workers  fighting  for  their  legitimate  rights.  Our  country  is 
the  fatherland  of  Lincoln  and  Roosevelt,  but  at  the  same  time  it  is  a  country 
of  men  like  Senator  Bilbo  and  many  of  his  type.  It  is  a  country  where  redskins 
were  exterminated  by  arms  and  brandy." 

Mr.  Smith.  Have  you  any  comment  on  that,  Mr.  Cooper  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  sir 

The  Chairman.  Excuse  me  a  minute.  Mr.  Smith,  you  say  this 
letter  was  distributed  by  the  Communist  Party  in  Italy  ? 

Mr.  S:mith.  In  May  of  1947,  Mr.  Chairman ;  yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  And  we  got  tlie  letter  from  the  State  Department? 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Proceed,  Mr.  Cooper. 

Mr.  Smith.  Were  you  ever  in  Philadelphia,  Mr.  Cooper? 

Mr.  Cooper.  No,  sir;  I  was  never  in  Philadelphia. 

Mr.  Smith.  Do  you  have  any  comment  to  make  regarding  this  letter  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  a  90,000  audience  is  a  little  tough  to  disregard, 
but  it  is  not  true. 

Tlie  Chairman.  I  want  to  help  you  along,  Mr.  Cooper — ■ — 

Mr.  Cooper.  No  part  of  it  is  true,  sir. 

^  See  appendix,  p.  532,  for  exhibit  51. 
67G83 — 47 15 


222  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

The  Chairman.  I  happen  to  know  it  is  just  a  plain,  ordinary,  ruth- 
less lie.  We  know  that  for  a  fact.  So  you  don't  have  to  worry  any 
more  about  that. 

Mr.  McDowell.  And  also,  Mr.  Cooper,  in  order  to  get  it  into  the 
record,  don't  you  think  there  wouldn't  be  90,000  people  in  Philadelphia 
who  were  Communists  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  believe  it  was  Mr.  Smith  here  that  said  you 
would  have  a  hard  time  getting  90,000  people  out  in  Philadelphia  for 
anything.     I  don't  know  about  that. 

Mr.  Smith.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  in  my  possession  another  similar 
document  which  I  believe  should  be  read,  some  portions  of  it  should  be 
read  into  the  record.  It  was  distributed  on  Saturday,  July  19,  1947, 
by  the  Communist  Party  in  Yugoslavia,  in  various  cities  therein,  and 
with  your  permission  I  would  like  to  read  a  few  paragraphs  there- 
from.^^ 

The  Chairman.  AVithout  objection,  so  ordered. 

Mr.  Smith  (reading)  : 

In  the  usual  column  on  the  sixth  page  entitled  "Fascist  Shooting  on  Broadway," 
appeared  the  following : 

"In  the  middle  of  June,  in  Hollywood,  Gary  Cooper,  Tyrone  Powei",  and  Alan 
Ladd,  well-known  fihn  stars,  were  imprisoned  because  they  were  marked  as 
leftists  and  denounced  un-Americans,  but  before  that  happened,  something  else 
was  going  on,  about  whicli  the  American  newspaper  agencies  did  not  speak,  and 
that  is  very  characteristic  of  conditions  today  in  tlie  United  States. 

"The  film  actor.  Buster  Crabbe,  lost  his  life  in  a  mysterious  way.  The  back- 
ground of  this  tragic  and  mysterious  death  of  Buster  Crabbe  was  set  forth  by 
the  New  York  paper,  Red  Star.  From  tlie  articles  of  Immy  Stendaph,  we  can 
see  that  Buster  Crabbe  was  very  popular  in  the  United  States.  He  organized  a 
movement  in  the  Army  to  protest  against  the  investigation  of  un-American  activi- 
ties against  Coopei-,  Chaplin,  and  other  film  stars. 

"  The  beginning  of  Buster  Crabbe's  tragedy  was  when  he  found  valuable 
documents,  through  which  documents  he  could  give  light  and  prove  the  criminal 
and  aggressive  plans  of  reactionary  circles  in  America. 

"*  *  *  On  May  31,  Buster  Crabbe  came  to  the  apartment  of  the  well- 
known  film  actor,  Spencer  Tracy,  also  well-known  as  a  leftist  and  they  had  a 
long  talk  in  the  presence  of  Tyrone  Power. 

"*  *  *  On  .Tune  S,  on  Broadway,  on  the  corner  of  Seventh  Avenue,  Crabbe 
was  riddled  with  bullets  from  a  machine  gun  from  a  closed  car.  This  tragic 
death  of  Crabbe,  provoked  terrific  unrest  in  Hollywood.  At  the  funeral  of  Buster 
Crabbe,  150,000  men  were  present,  and  the  coffin  was  carried  by  Comrades  Gary 
Cooper,  Tyrone  Power" 

The  Chairman.  I  don't  think  we  will  have  to  have  any  more  of  that 
letter.  But  what  I  would  like  to  have  you  do,  Mr.  Smith,  is  to  iden- 
tify, clearly  identify  the  source. 

Mr.  Smith.  Yes,  sir;  there  is  just  one  more  paragraph. 

The  Chairman.  All  right,  read  on,  if  you  want  to. 

Mr.  Smith  (reading) : 

This  case  is  very  characteristic  of  the  conditions  which  are  now  prevailing  in 
the  United  States.  This  is  the  method  of  Fascist  liquidation  which  this  country 
of  freedom  and  democracy  is  dealing  with  a  political  opponent.  It  is  quite  possible 
that  tliis  crime  was  counnitted  by  the  KKK  and  Inspired  by  the  elements  who 
were  interested  in  Crabbe's  disappearance — that  he  stop  talking. 

My  point,  Mr.  Chairman,  is  to  show  not  only  in  Hollywood,  but 
throughout  the  world  the  extent  to  which  the  Communist  Party  can 
go  to  use  an  actor  to  further  their  cause.  This  particular  document 
was  distributed  by  the  Communist  Party  in  July  1947  in  Yugoslavia. 

*•  See  appendix,  p.  532,  for  exhibit  52. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  223 

We  have  the  official  copy  from  the  State  Department  for  introduction 
into  the  record. 

The  Chairman.  Well,  you  see  from  that,  Mr.  Cooper,  to  what  extent 
they  will  go. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  So  when  they  used  your  name  in  that  regard  you 
can  almost  consider  it  a  compliment. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  McDowell.  May  I  ask,  Mr.  Chairman,  if  Crabbe  is  living?  Is 
Mr.  Crabbe  living  ? 

Mr.  Smith.  So  far  as  I  know,  he  is  living. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Mr.  Crabbe  is  a  very  healthy  specimen  of  American 
manhood. 

Mr.  Smith.  I  have  no  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chaieman.  Mr.  Wood. 

Mr.  Wood.  I  have  no  further  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell. 

Mr.  McDowell.  I  have  no  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Cooper,  witnesses  who  have  preceded  you  from 
Hollywood  have  said  that  they  consider  members  of  the  Communist 
Party  to  be  agents  of  a  foreign  government.  Do  you  consider  the 
members  of  the  Communist  Party  to  be  that  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  am  not  in  nearly  as  good  a  position  to  know  as  some  of 
the  witnesses  that  have  been  ahead  of  me,  because  I  am  not  a  very 
active  member  in  our  guild.  They,  therefore,  know  much  more  about 
the  politics  and  the  workings  of  what  Communists  there  are  in  the 
guild  than  I.  From  the  general,  over-all  things  that  you  hear  in  Holly- 
wood, I  would  assume  that  there  is  such  a  close  parallel  and  I  think 
this  document  whicli  Mr.  Smith  gave  me  is  a  pretty  good  indication 
that  there  is  a  direct  connection  in  the  material  that  comes  from  abroad 
and  the  material  that  is  given  to  them  here. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  that  the  Communist  group  or  clique  m 
Hollywood,  wliether  it  is  in  the  Screen  Actors  Guild  or  the  Screen 
Writers  Guild,  is  a  good  influence  or  bad  influence  for  the  motion 
pictures  generally  ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  to  go  back  to  one  or  two  examples  that  I  quoted 
before,  I  think  it  is  a  very  bad  influence  because  it  is  ver>-  un-Ameri- 
can, i  mean,  it  is  very  shocking  to  hear  someone  with  a  lot  of  money 
say  such  a  thing  as,  "The  Constitution  of  the  United  States  is  150  years 
out  of  date." 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  been  solicited  to  join  the  Communist 
Party  or  any  of  its  fronts,  Mr.  Cooper  'i 

Mr.  Cooper.  No,  I  have  not. 

jVlr.  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Cooper,  during  the  wartime,  the  moving-pic- 
ture industry  made  anti-Nazi  films.  Don't  you  think  it  would  be  a 
good  idea  if  now  the  moving-picture  industry  produced  anti-Commu- 
nist films  showing  the  dangers  from  communism  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Cooper.  A\'ell,  I  don't  think  it  is  a  bad  idea,  that  the  public 
should  be  informed  of  what  activity  there  is  in  the  motion-picture  busi- 


224  coMMUisrisM  in  motion  picture  industry 

ness  toward  communism.  As  little  or  as  great  as  it  may  be,  I  don't 
think  it  is  a  good  thing.  It  is  not  good  for  those  people  that  even 
believe  in  it.  I  think  some  very  sound — as  I  suggested  before — and 
real  fine  pictures,  more  of  them,  should  be  made  on  selling  what  is 
really  Americanism.  A  great  many  good  pictures  have  been  made,  and 
I  have  tried  to  do  some  of  them,  but  I  think  there  is  great  room  for 
reselling  people  the  idea  of  what  we  have  got  m  this  country,  whi''h  is 
the  finest  thii'g  thei-e  is  in  the  world.  I  know  that  the  great  majority 
of  people  m  Hollywood  and  certainly  the  great  majority  of  people  m 
this  country  would  not  exchange  our  country  or  government  for  any 
other. 

The  Chairman.  Let  me  ask  you  one  more  question.  Do  you  think 
that  communism  is  on  the  increase  or  on  the  decrease  out  in  Holly- 
wood ? 

Mr.  Cooper.  It  is  very  difficult  to  say  right  now,  within  these  last  lew 
months,  because  it  has  become  unpopular  and  a  little  risky  to  say  too 
nuich.  You  notice  the  difference.  People  who  were  quite  easy  to  ex- 
press their  thoughts  before  begni  to  clam  up  more  than  they  used  to. 

The  Chairman.  In  other  words,  some  of  them  are  "getting  re- 
ligion"? 

Mr.  Cooper.  Well,  I  don't  know,  but  they  do  their  discussions  in 
corners,  I  guess,  in  huddles  of  their  own  where  they  are  surrounded 
with  their  own. 

The  Chairman.  Now,  you  heard  about  these  bills  that  are  before 
the  Un-American  Activities  Committee,  bills  to  outlaw  the  Communist 
Party  in  the  United  States,  just  as  the  Communist  Party  is  outlawed 
in  Canada  and  the  Communist  Party  is  outlawed  in  some  South  Amer- 
ican countries. 

Mr.  CooPKR.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  believe  as  a  prominent  person  in  your  field 
that  it  would  be  wise  for  us,  the  Congress,  to  pass  legislation  to  outlaw 
the  Co)umunist  Party  in  the  United  States'^ 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  think  it  would  be  a  good  idea,  although  I  have  never 
read  Karl  Marx  and  I  don't  know  the  basis  of  communism,  beyond 
what  I  have  picked  up  from  hearsay.  From  what  I  hear,  I  don't  like 
it  because  it  isn't  on  the  level.  So  I  couldn't  possibly  answer  that 
question. 

The  Chairman.  Does  any  other  member  have  any  questions? 

(No  response.) 

The  Chairm  \n.  Mr.  Smith,  do  you  have  any  more  questions  ? 

INIr.  Smith.  No. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling? 

Mr.  StriplinCx.  No  more  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Cooper,  thanks  very  much  for  coming  here 
today.     We  hope  we  didn't  put  you  out  too  much. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Not  at  all. 

The  Chatrman.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Cooper.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  And,  Mr.  Cooper,  if  you  will  just  stay  over  there, 
or  if  you  want  to  leave.     It  is  up  to  you. 

Mr.  Cooper.  I  would  like  to  wait. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chnirman,  the  next  witness  is  Mr.  Leo  McCarey. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McCarey.     Eaise  your  right  hand,  Mr.  McCarey. 


COMMUNISM  IN   MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  225 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony  you  are  about  to  give  is  the 
truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 
Mr.  McCarey.  I  do. 
The  Chairman.  Sit  down.     May  we  have  order. 

TESTIMONY  OP  LEO  McCAEEY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  McCarey,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address,  please? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Leo  McCarey,  1018  Ocean  Front,  Santa  Monica, 
Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  was  born  in  Los  Angeles  in  1896. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation,  Mr.  McCarey  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Motion-picture  director. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  been  a  director? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Since  1923,  I  think. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  held  any  other  positions  in  Hollywood? 
Have  you  been  an  actor  or  writer? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  have  written  a  bit,  and  at  one  time  I  was  vice 
president  of  the  Hal  Roach  Studio. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  are  some  of  the  pictures  which  you  have 
directed  and  produced? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Ruggles  of  Red  Gap,  the  Awful  Truth,  Love  Affair, 
Going  My  Way,  and  the  Bells  of  St.  Marys. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Were  Going  My  Way  and  the  Bells  of  St.  Marys 
two  of  the  most  popular  pictures  which  you  have  produced  in  recent 
years,  according  to  the  box  office? 

Mr.  McCarey.  According  to  the  box  office,  they  were  both  very 
successful. 

Mr.  Stripling.  They  did  very  well? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  did  they  do  in  Russia? 

Mr.  McCarey.  We  haven't  received  one  ruble  from  Russia  on  either 
picture. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  the  trouble? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Well,  I  think  I  have  a  character  in  there  that  they 
do  not  like. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Bing  Crosby? 

Mr.  McCarey.  No;  God. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wasn't  Bing  Crosby  the  star  in  both  of  those 
pictures? 

Mr.  McCarey.  He  was  the  star  in  both  pictures;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Since  you  have  been  in  Hollywood,  Mr.  McCarey, 
have  you  noticed  the  activities  of  the  Communists  in  any  particular 
group  there  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Yes.  I  have,  particularly  in  the  writers'  group. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Is  that  the  principal  medium  through  which  the 
Communists  have  sought  to  inject  their  propaganda  or  un-American 
ideas? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Well,  naturally,  it  is  the  most  efficient  way  to  get 
over  what  they  want  to  say ;  yes.  There  are  several  other  angles,  too, 
in  the  suppression  of  ideas  that  are  pro-American.     Many  a  script 


226  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

never  sees  the  light  of  day  because  it  is  rejected  before  we  ever  get 
to  read  it. 

Also  in  the  casting  of  pictures.  The  dialogue  in  the  script  could  be 
ostensibly  quite  innocuous  but  they  can  cast  a  character  so  repulsive 
\A  hen  you  take  one  look  at  him  you  don't  like  the  man  who  is  portrayed 
as  a  capitalist,  a  banker,  or  whatever  part  he  is  portraying. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  the  Communists  have  been  successful 
in  the  past  10  years  in  injecting  any  propaganda  into  pictures? 

Mr.  McCarey.  They  have  been  successful  in  injecting  propaganda 
but  fortunately  very  few  pictures  with  Communist  propaganda  have 
made  any  money.  They  have  been  quite  unsuccessful,  and  I  am  very 
happy  that  the  American  public  just  does  not  patronize  them. 

Mr.  Stripling.  As  a  director,  Mr.  McCarey,  what  do  you  think  the 
dangers  are  of  permitting  pictures  to  be  made  in  which  the  institutions 
in  this  country  are  portrayed  in  a  disparaging  light  ?  In  other  words, 
if  pictures  are  made  which  always  have  the  banker  as  a  heavy,  as  it 
has  been  referred  to  in  the  testimony,  and  that  picture  is  shown  in 
foreign  countries,  Europe,  and  so  on,  what  do  you  think  the  ultimate 
effect  would  be? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Well,  naturally,  it  would  give  a  very  unfavorable 
opinion  of  people  who  are  successful  in  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  that  is  a  dangerous  practice  for  the 
motion  pictures  to  pursue  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  think  it  is  a  very  dangerous  practice. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  the  Communist  influence  in  Hollywood 
has  increased  or  decreased  within  the  past  3  years? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Well,  I  think  it  has  been  increasing  until  recently. 
I  think  it  is  getting  a  bit  unpopular  now. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Have  you  ever  had  any  personal  encounter  with  any 
Communist  writers  who  have  sought  to  place  propaganda  in  pictures 
which  you  were  directing? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Yes,  I  have. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  detail  that  instance  to  the  committee? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  have  had  many  experiences  where  ideas  were  sug- 
gested by  myself  and  they  would  throw  cold  water  on  them  if  they 
did  not  agree  with  their  own  policy.  They  were  always  submitting 
books  for  me  to  read  and  I  always  had  to  be  on  the  alert  to  find  the 
latent  Communist  propaganda  in  the  stories  they  had  me  read. 

Mr.  Stripling.  It  is  very  subtle,  in  other  words  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  At  times  very  subtle,  yes.  Some  of  them  are  very 
clever. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at  this  time,  Mr. 
Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail  ? 

Mr.  Vail.  No  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell? 

Mr.  McDowell.  I  have  no  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McCarey,  I  would  like  to  ask  you  one  or  two 
questions. 

Mr.  McCarey.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  You  heard  the  testimony  of  the  preceding  witness 
concerning  whether  or  not  we  should  make  anti-Communist  films,  just 
as  we  made  anti-Nazi  films'during  the  war? 

Mr.  McCarey.  Yes,  sir. 


COMMUNISM    IN    MOTION    PICTUKE   INDUSTRY  227 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  believe  the  industry  should  produce  anti- 
Communist  films  in  order  to  show  the  American  people  the  dangers 
and  the  intrigue  of  the  Communist  Party  here  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  IVIcCarey.  Well,  Mr.  Thomas,  that  is  quite  a  question.  I  think 
basically  the  screen — I  like  to  feel  it  is  an  art.  I  don't  think  pictures 
should  be  made  that  have  much  more  than  what  the  medium  stands 
for.  It  is  a  great  art.  Pictures  should  be  entertainment.  I  think 
that  because  of  the  number  of  people  in  all  lands  who  see  our  pictures. 
I  believe  it  only  tends  toward  causing  more  enmity  if  we  are  partisan 
and  take  any  sides  in  our  pictures. 

For  instance,  Mr.  Disney  with  his  Donald  Duck.  Donald  Duck  is 
a  great  hero.  The  Three  Little  Pigs  was  very  successful  and  the 
world  is  trying  to  tell  us  they  w^ant  entertainment  on  the  screen. 

The  Chairman.  In  other  words,  you  believe  we  would  be  doing  the 
same  thing 

Mr.  McCarey.  We  would  bring  on  more  bitterness,  I  think. 

The  Chairman.  We  would  be  doing  the  same  thing  Soviet  Russia 
is  doing  ? 

Mr.  McCarey.  That  is  right. 

The  Chairmax.  The  other  question  is  with  reference  to  outlawing 
the  Communist  Party.  We  have  two  bills  before  our  committee,  either 
one  of  which  if  passed  would  outlaw  the  Communist  Party  in  the 
United  States  just  the  same  as  it  is  outlawed  in  Canada  and  outlawed 
in  some  South  American  countries. 

As  one  of  the  leaders  or  spokesmen  of  your  profession,  spokesman 
for  a  great  many  people,  do  you  believe  the  Congress  should  outlaw 
the  Communist  Party  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  definitely  do  because  I  feel  the  party  is  not  an 
American  party.  I  think  that  within  the  confines  of  the  United  States 
we  can  have  all  the  parties  we  want  and  have  healthy  debate  on  any 
subject  for  the  betterment  of  all  peoples  but  I  don't  think  we  should 
aline  ourselves  with  any  foreign  party. 

The  Chairman.  In  other  words,  you  think  an  American  Communist 
is  the  agent  of  a  foreign  government? 

Mr.  McCarey.  I  definitely  do  and  I  hope  something  is  done  about 
it  because  at  this  time  it  is  a  very  dangerous  thing.  It  seems  like  in 
a  way  some  people  accuse  us  of  being  afraid  of  mentioning  names.  I 
would  be  very  happy  to  mention  names  if  we  had  a  law  with  some 
teeth  in  it  so  that  under  the  heading  of — call  it  what  you  will ;  I  am 
not  a  legislator  and  I  am  not  a  law  maker — but  somewhere  along  the 
line  untler  the  subdivision  of  "Treason,"  subdivision  "D,"  or  some- 
thing like  that,  should  label  these  people  as  truly  un-American. 

The  Chairman.  So  that  if  there  was  a  law  on  the  books  making 
the  Communist  Party  illegal  you  would  not  hesitate  to  name  the  per- 
sons whom  you  know  and  believe  to  be  Communists? 

Mr.  ISIcCarey.  That  is  right. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  any  more  questions,  Mr.  Stripling? 

Mr.  Stripling.  No  more  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  McCarey.*° 

We  will  adjourn  until  tomorrow  at  10 :  30  a.  m. 

(Whereupon,  at  2:35  p.  m.,  an  adjournment  was  taken  until  Fri- 
day. October  24, 1947,  at  10 :  30  a.  m.) 

*°  See  appendix,  p.  233,  for  exhibit  53. 


HEAEINGS  EEGAEDING  THE  COMMUNIST  INFILTM- 
TION  OF  THE  MOTION-PICTURE-INDUSTKY 


FRIDAY,   OCTOBER  24,    1947 

House  of  Representatives, 
Committee  on  Un-American  Activities, 

Washington,  D.  C. 

The  committee  met  at  10:  30  a.  m.,  Hon.  J.  Parnell  Tliomas  (chair- 
man) presiding. 

The  Chairman.  The  meeting  will  come  to  order. 

The  record  will  show  that  a'  subcommittee  is  sitting  consisting  of 
Mr.  McDowell  and  Mr.  Thomas. 

Staff  members  present :  Mr.  Robert  E.  Stripling,  chief  investigator, 
Messrs.  Louis  J.  Russell,  Robert  B.  Gaston,  H.  A.  Smith,  investigators, 
and  Mr.  Benjamin  Mandel,  director  of  research. 

Mrs.  Rogers,  will  you  please  stand  and  raise  your  right  hand  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers,  do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  shall 
give  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so 
help  you  God? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Sit  down. 

TESTIMONY  OF  MRS.  LELA  E.  ROGERS 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mrs.  Rogers,  will  you  please  state  your  full  name 
and  your  present  address  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Lela  E.  Rogers,  5930  Franklin  Avenue,  Hollywood, 
Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  were  you  born  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  In  Council  Bluffs,  Iowa. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Wliat  is  your  occupation  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  am  the  manager  of  my  daughter's  affairs  and  a 
writer  of  sorts. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Your  daughter  is  Ginger  Rogers  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  How  long  have  you  lived  in  Hollywood  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  entered  the  motion-picture  business  in  Hollywood 
in  1916  as  a  writer.  I  went  away  from  there  for  some  time  and  then 
came  back  again  in  1930  with  my  daughter. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  outline  to  the  committee  the  various 
positions  that  you  have  held  in  the  motion-picture  industry  over  the 
years  ? 

Mr.  Chairman,  ISIrs.  Rogers  testified  before  the  committee  in  May 
in  Los  Angeles  and  she  will  refer  to  her  previous  testimony  to  refresh 
her  memory. 

229 


230  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Tlie  Chairman.  Yes,  May  I  interrupt  ?  I  want  the  record  to  show 
that  Mr.  Vail  is  present. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Go  right  ahead,  please. 

Mrs.  Rogers.  At  times  I  have  been  a  theatrical  coach.  At  one  time, 
about  1933  to  1935,  I  had  my  own  theater,  the  Hollytown,  in  Holly- 
wood. Then  from  1935  until  1938  I  was  dramatic  coach  at  R-K-0 
Studios  with  ni}'  theater  on  the  lot.  Then  I  went  to  work  at 
R-K-O  Studios  as  assistant  to  the  vice  president  in  charge  of  produc- 
tion, the  late  Charles  Kerner,  in  1943.  My  duties  were  to  help  him  with 
the  enormous  amount  of  reading  it  was  necessary  for  him  to  do  per- 
sonally and  to  report  my  opinion  of  the  properties  under  considera- 
tion for  purchase  and  to  bring  other  properties  to  his  attention  I 
was  also  to  suggest  and  recommend  writers  for  script  work. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  identify  Mr.  Charles  Kerner  for  the  com- 
mittee? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Mr.  Charles  Kerner  was  at  that  time  the  vice  president 
in  charge  of  productions  of  R-K-O  Studios. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mrs.  Rogers,  are  you  a  member  of  the  Motion  Pic- 
ture Alliance  for  the  Preservation  of  American  Ideals  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  one  of  the  original  members  ? 

Mrs,  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mj".  Stripling.  Can  you  tell  the  committee  why  this  organization 
was  formed? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  The  organization  was  formed  in  an  attempt  to  combat 
the  threat  and  the  menace  that  we  saw  arising  in  Hollywood,  the  Com- 
munist infiltration  in  Hollywood  in  our  unions  and  the  guilds,  and  in 
our  scripts  and  stories  and  direction  and  all  avenues  and  all  depart- 
ments of  the  motion-picture  industry.  We  felt  that  if  we  could  bring 
this  to  the  attention  of  the  men  in  power,  who  had  the  i^ight  to  hire  and 
fire  these  people,  and  try  to  show  them  what  these  people  were  doing 
to  their  industry,  that  we  could  possibly  save  them  from  what  we  saw 
ahead,  it  would  have  to  come  out  into  the  open  and  be  dealt  with  sum- 
marily as  is  now  being  done, 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  think  the  alliance  has  done  effective  work 
since  its  formation? 

Mrs,  Rogers,  Yes,  sir,  I  feel  that  the  alliance  has  been  right  eflfec- 
tive  in  that  it  has  brought  out  the  menace  so  that  it  could  be  looked  at 
by  other  members  of  the  industry,  so  that  they  would  recognize  it  and 
feel  it,  and  tlien  learn  what  it  was  and  how  it  worked. 

Mr,  Stripling.  At  the  time  of  the  formation  of  the  alliance  is  it 
your  opinion  that  there  was  a  definite  need  for  it  to  combat  the  inroads 
of  communism  within  the  motion-picture  industry? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  There  was  a  definite  need.  That  so  many  important 
people  in  the  industrv  should  come  together  for  the  one  purpose 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  speak  louder,  please? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  That  so  many  people  of  the  industry  should  come 
together  for  the  one  purpose,  all  of  one  mind,  signifies  to  me  that  there 
was  a  definite  need  for  it  felt  by  many  important  people. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  Mr.  Sam  Wood,  who  was  the  first 
president  of  the  alliance,  testified  early  in  the  week  as  to  the  aims  and 
purposes  of  the  alliance  and  they  were  put  into  the  record. 

Mrs.  Rogers,  while  you  were  employed  as  assistant  to  Mr.  Kerner 
at  R-K-0  was  it  part  of  your  duties  to  examine  certain  scripts  or 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  231 

Stories  and  to  recommend  to  him  whether  or  not  they  should  be  con- 
sidered for  the  possible  production  of  a  picture  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes ;  that  was  mostly  my  entire  duty. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Can  you  tell  this  committee  whether  or  not  you  ever 
reviewed  the  book  None  but  the  Lonely  Heart,  which  was  written  by 
Richard  Lewellyn  ? 

Mrs. 'Rogers.  Yes,  sir,  I  did.  It  was  in  the  early  part  of  1944.  Mr. 
Kerner  handed  me  a  book  entitled,  "None  but  the  Lonely  Heart,"  by 
Richard  Lewellyn.  He  wanted  me  to  read  it  and  give  an  immediate 
report  on  it.  It  seems  that  Gary  Grant  had  called  from  Columbia 
Studio  to  say  that  the  book  had  been  called  to  his  attention  by  some- 
one at  Cohnnbiu  who  recommended  it  as  a  good  story  for  him,  Mr. 
Grant.  Mr.  Grant  had  not  read  the  book.  He  wanted  R-K-0  to 
read  it  and  if  they  found  it  suitable  to  him  he  wanted  R-K-0  to  buy 
it  and  he  would  make  it  there.  I  found  I  couldn't  recommend  the 
book  and  said  so.  It  was  a  story  filled  with  despair  and  hopelessness 
and  in  my  opinion  was  not  a  Gary  Grant  vehicle.  When  I  finished 
stating  my  views  to  Mr.  Kerner  he  told  me  he  had  bought  it  only  a 
half  hour  before.  A  few  days  later  I  was  present  at  a  meeting  where 
Mr.  David  Hempstead,  who  had  been  producer  on  the  picture 

The  Chairman.  What  was  that  name,  Mrs.  Rogers  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  David  Hempstead.  He  had  been  made  producer  on 
the  picture.  He  reported  that  he  had  just  talked  to  Mr.  Clifford  Odets 
in  New  York  and  that  ISIr.  Odets  would  come  out  to  the  studio  and  do 
the  screen  play  on  the  story.     I  protested  this  very  vehemently. 

My  objection  to  Mr.  Odets  as  a  writer  was  that  for  years  I  had  heard 
that  Mr.  Odets  was  a  Communist.  I  warned  that  the  story  lent  itself 
to  propaganda,  particularly  in  the  hands  of  a  Communist.  During 
the  preparation  for  the  production  Mr.  Odets  was  made  director  as 
well  as  writer  and  as  the  picture  progressed  I  heard  that  Hanns  Eisler 
had  been  employed  to  do  the  musical  score  for  the  picture. 

Mr.  Striblixg.  If  I  may  interrupt  at  this  point,  Mrs.  Rogers. 

Mr.  Chairman,  Hanns  Eisler  testified  that  he  did  do  the  background 
music  for  the  picture,  None  but  the  Lonely  Heart. 

Mrs.  Rogers,  you  stated  that  you  had  heard  that  Clifford  Odets 
was  a  Communist.     What  do  you  base  that  upon? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  have  here  a  column  of  Mr.  O.  O.  Mclntyre,  date 
lined  January  8, 1936,  in  which  Mr.  Mclntyre  says  Mr.  Clifford  Odets, 
play  writer,  is  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party.  I  never  saw  that 
denied. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Are  you  aware  of  certain  sworn  testimony  taken  by 
the  State  Committee  of  California  on  Subversive  Activities? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  To  the  effect  that  Mr.  Odets  was  a  member  of  the 
Communist  Party  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  might  state  that  the  committee 
has  a  voluminous  record  of  Mr.  Clifford  Odets  and  his  activities.  As 
you  are  well  aware,  he  is  one  of  the  79  that  you  referred  to,  and  his 
record  will  be  taken  up  next  week. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Stripling.  You  stated  that  Mr.  Odets  besides  writing  the 
script  for  this  picture  was  later  chosen  as  the  director  for  it? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 


232  COMMUNISM  IN  MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  you  tell  us  whether  or  not  the  picture  was  a 
success  ? 

Mrs.  EoGERS.  The  picture  was  not  a  success  at  the  box  office,  though  I 
think  it  returned  its  cost. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  Mr.  Odets  was  suc- 
cessful in  injecting  any  propaganda  into  the  film  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  have  here  under  date  line  of  October  2,  1944,  a  copy 
of  the  Hollywood  Reporter  with  a  review  of  None  But  the  Lonely 
Heart.  The  Hollywood  Reporter  is  a  Hollywood  trade  paper.  I 
will  read  the  criticism  that  I  read  at  that  time: 

The  story,  pitched  in  a  low  key,  is  moody  and  somber  throughout,  in  the  Russian 
manner  and  plods  inexorably  to  its  gloomy  ending  with  only  slight  redemption  in 
the  ray  of  hope  expressed  in  one  of  the  final  speeches.  For  the  most  part  it 
moves  slowly  and  takes  time  out  for  a  bit  of  propaganda  preachment  whenever 
Director  Clifford  Odets,  who  also  wrote  the  script  for  the  Richard  Lewellyn  novel, 
felt  the  urge. 

jVIr,  Stripling.  Would  you  say  that  was  a  typical  example  of  how 
a  Communist  would  be  successful  in  injecting  propaganda?  They 
refer  there — they  use  the  language,  I  believe,  "propaganda  preach- 
ment." 

Mrs.  Rogers.  That  is  right.  I  think  that  this  is  a  splendid  example, 
this  picture,  of  what  type  of  propaganda  Communists  like  to  inject  in 
motion  pictures. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Can  you  tell  us  how  long  Mr.  Odets  remained  with 
R-K-0? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Well,  not  long  after  this  picture  was  released  Mr.  Odets 
was  made  a  producer  at  R-K-0.  How  long  he  remained  I  do  not  know 
because  I  severed  my  connections  with  R-K-O  in  1945,  September 
sometime. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  know  whether  or  not  Mr,  Odets  went  to 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  from  R-K-0? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  think  I  heard  he  did,  but  as  to  that  I  would  not 
know  myself. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mrs.  Rogers,  there  has  been  considerable  testimony 
here  to  the  effect  that  it  is  through  the  script  writers  that  the  Com- 
munists have  been  most  successful  in  their  attempts  to  inject  Commu- 
nist propaganda  in  films.  Do  you  think  that  is  a  correct  analysis  of  the 
situation? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes;  I  think  the  Communist  gets  his  best  work  in  in 
the  field  of  writing. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  responsibility  do  you  think  should  rest  with 
the  film  executives  of  the  producers  regarding  the  Communist  influ- 
ence that  we  now  find  present  in  the  motion-picture  industry  ?  Do  you 
think  the  primary  responsibility  should  rest  with  them  for  permitting 
these  people  to  be  there,  to  infiltrate  into  the  industry? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes:  I  think  it  must  rest  with  them,  the  final  decision 
about  it.  Our  producing  executives  are  jzood  Americans  and  by  uti- 
lizing the  free-enterprise  system  of  the  United  States  they  have  built 
the  motion-picture  industry  up  to  where  it  is  now,  the  fourth  largest 
industry  in  the  world.  They  are  businessmen ;  they  are  not  politicians. 
Some  of  our  executives  have  been  received  by  the  party  liners  they 
hired.  As  a  free  people  we  had  no  experience  with  such  intrigue  and 
conspiracy.  Our  executives  were  no  more  asleep  than  were  our  people 
or  our  Government  or  the  whole  world,  in  fact.     The  Communist  is  a 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  233 

trained  propagandist,  highly  disciplined,  as  is  revealed  by  the  testi- 
mony of  former  Soviet  ollicials  and  ex-members  of  the  Commmiist 
Party.  His  ways  are  devious  and  not  easy  to  follow.  I  think  that 
once  our  executives  see  this,  and  know  it  for  what  it  is,  they  will  be 
most  happy  to  clean  it  out  of  their  pictures. 

In  the  first  place,  there  have  beeli  very  few  pictures  ever  made  with 
Connnunist  propoganda  in  them  that  were  successes  at  the  box  office. 
1  feel  it  has  a  great  deal  to  do  with  the  dearth  of  good  pictures  today. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mrs.  Rogers,  Mr.  Robert  Taylor,  and  Mr.  Robert 
Montgomery,  among  others,  have  testified  that  they  would  not  act  in 
a  cast  or  })icture  in  wliich  Communists  were  in  the  cast,  or  in  which 
Comnnmist  lines  were  written  into  the  script.  As  your  daughter's 
manager,  so  to  speak,  have  you  and  your  daughter  ever  objected  to  or 
turned  down  scripts  because  you  felt  that  there  were  lines  in  there 
for  her  to  speak  which  you  felt  were  un-American  or  Communist 
pro]^aganda  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Many  times. 
.  Mr.  Stripling.  You  have  turned  down  many  scripts  for  these 
reasons  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir.  We  turned  down  Sister  Carrie,  by  Theodore 
Dreiser,  because  it  was  just  as  open  propaganda  as  None  But  the  Lonely 
Heart. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling,  Mr.  Vail  will  act  as  chairman. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Yes,  sir. 

Mrs.  Rogers,  that  is  a  right  or  a  privilege,  however,  which  only  top 
stars  can  enjoy?  The  average  actor,  or  person,  in  Hollywood,  is  not 
permitted  to  say  what  he  or  she  will  say  ?     Is  that  true  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Well,  that  is  true,  mostly — and  also  for  economic 
reasons.  Most  of  the  character  players  must  have  the  work  to  keep 
going.  But  most  of  the  people  of  Hollywood  would  not  know  a  line 
of  propaganda  if  they  saw  it.  They  will  feel  unhappy  with  it,  just  as 
the  audience  feels  unhappy  when  they  hear  it,  but  they  are  not  ac- 
quainted with  the  subject,  they  haven't  made  a  study  of  it  as  some  of 
us  have,  and  therefore  they  will  say  lines  and  then  afterward  say, 
"What  did  I  do?  I  didn't  like  that,  but  I  did  it,"  and  are  surprised  to 
learn  that  they  have  put  out  a  propaganda.  Communist  propairanda 
line.  The  star  does  not  make  a  picture  if  he  doesn't  want  to.  -He  can 
turn  it  down  with  no  explanation  whatsoever.  The  character  player 
just  can't  do  that. 

INIr.  Stripling.  Mrs.  Rogers,  as  one  who  has  observed  very  carefully 
the  infiltration  of  the  Communists  and  watched  their  activities,  what 
recommendations  could  you  make  to  the  committee  as  to  how  it  could 
best  be  cleaned  up  so  far  as  the  motion-picture  industry  is  concerned? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Well,  I  would  suggest  that  the  Congress  of  the  United 
States  immediately  enact  such  legislation  as  will  preserve  the  Bill  of 
Rights  to  the  people  for  whom  it  was  designed.  That  precious  bill 
was  never  intended  to  protect  enemy  agents,  saboteurs,  and  spies, 
whether  they  are  American  or  foreign  born. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Would  vou  favor  the  outlawing  of  the  Communist 
Party? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  favor  the  outlawing  of  the  Communist  Party  as  an 
agency  of  a  foreign  government. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Do  you  consider  them  to  be  agents  of  a  foreign 
government  ? 


234  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  do,  sir ;  yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  those  are  all  the  questions  I  have  at 
this  time. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  McDowell,  any  questions? 

Mr.  McDowEix,.  Mrs.  Rogers,  you  have  devoted  many  years  to  the 
readino;  of  manuscripts  and  the  study  of  pictures  in  general.  You 
make  the  statement  here  that  there  was  Communist  propaganda,  as 
you  detected  it,  in  this  film  None  But  the  Lonely  Heart.  I  haven't 
heard  any  description  of  Communist  propaganda  in  these  films  yet 
except  that  a  banker  was  shown  occasionally  as  being  a  no-good,  and 
so  forth.  Well,  of  course,  I  know  many  fine  bankers,  many  patriotic 
men.  I  also  know  some  stinkers  that  should  have  been  in  jail  30  years 
ago.  That  doesn't  necessarily  constitute  the  Communist  propaganda. 
What  would  describe  in  this  film  as  being  Communist  propaganda? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  In  None  But  the  Lonely  Heart? 

Mr.  McDowell.   Yes. 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  can't  quote  the  lines  of  the  play  exactly  but  I  can 
give  you  the  sense  of  them.  There  is  one  place  in  which — it  is  unfair, 
may  I  say,  to  take  a  scene  from  its  context  and  try  to  make  it  sound 
like  Communist  propaganda,  because  a  Communist  is  very  careful, 
very  clever,  and  very  devious  in  the  way  he  sets  the  film.  If  I  were 
to  give  you  a  line  from  that  play  straight  out  a^ou  would  say  "What 
is  wrong  with  that  line?"  unless  you  knew  that  the  Communist  is 
trying  in  every  way  to  tear  down  our  free-enterprise  system,  to  make 
the  people  lose  faith  in  it,  so  that  they  will  want  to  get  something 
else — and  the  Communists  have  it  waiting  for  them. 

I  will  tell  you  of  one  line.  The  mother  in  the  story  runs  a  second- 
hand store.  The  son  says  to  her,  "You  are  not  going  to" — in  essence, 
I  am  not  quoting  this  exactly  because  I  can't  remember  it  exactly — he 
said  to  her,  "You  are  not  going  to  get  me  to  work  here  and  squeeze 
pennies  out  of  little  people  poorer  than  I  am." 

Now,  laid  upon  the  background  of — that  is  the  free-enterprise 
system — trade,  and  we  don't  necessarily  squeeze  pennies  from  people 
poorer  than  we  are.  Many  people  are  poorer  and  many  people  are 
richer. 

As  I  say,  you  find  yourself  in  an  awful  hole  the  moment  you  start 
to  remove  one  of  the  scenes  from  its  context. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Well,  unfortunately  for  an  intelligent  discussion, 
I  didn't  see  the  picture,  so  I  am  at  a  complete  loss.  In  the  matter 
of  the  Hanns  Eisler  background  music,  I  would  judge  after  hearing 
you,  both  here  and  in  California,  that  you  would  conclude  that  would 
contribute  nothing  to  the  Communist  text  of  the  film  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  No;  I  do  not  think  that  that  would;  no.  It  only 
shows  that  when  a  Communist  secures  a  firm  footing  in  a  picture  he 
surrounds  himself  with  other  Communists. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Thank  you,  Mrs.  Rogers. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mrs.  Rogers,  in  your  opinion  what  percentage  of  the 
actors  in  the  film  industry  are  communistically  inclined? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  wouldn't  be  able  to  tell  you  in  exact  percentages.  It 
is  very  small,  I  can  assure  you  of  that.  But  it  is  getting  bigger. 
The  dommunist  Party  protects  those  people.  They  bring  them  out 
and  smack  them  right  into  stardom  and  keep  them  there — the  Com- 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  235 

munists  in  key  positions  in  Hollywood  and  those  who  have  con- 
fidence of  the  producers. 

Mr.  Vail.  We  had  before  us  yesterday  several  prominent  screen 
actors  who  gave  it  as  their  opinion  that  less  than  1  percent  of  the 
actors  were  associated  with  communistic  activities.  Do  you  think 
that  is  a  fair  estimate? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  think  that  is  a  fair  estimate  when  you  realize  how 
many  actors  there  really  are  in  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Vail.  Would  you  be  able  to  make  an  estimate  of  the  percentage 
of  those  communistically  inclined  among  the  screen  writers? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes.  That  is  a  very  small  percentage  too,  but  may 
I,  in  explanation,  say  that  Communists  do  not  have  anywhere  and  do 
not  want  numerical  superiority.  They  do  not  want  you  to  become  a 
member  of  the  Communist  Party.  They  want  a  small  and  effective, 
highly  trained  and  highly  disciplined  cell,  and  they  will  take  care  oi 
the  rest  of  us  in  their  own  way.  There  are  around  200,000,000  in 
Russia  but  there  are  only  about  2,000,000  Communists  in  Russia. 

Mr.  Vail.  But,  in  other  words,  to  be  effective  on  the  Hollywood 
scene  wouldn't  you  imagine  that  they  would  have  to  have  greater 
numerical  strength,  greater  than  1  percent? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  You  are  thinking  like  an  American,  sir. 

Mr.  Vail.  That  is  the  way  I  like  to  think. 

Mrs.  Rogers.  That  is  right,  and  you  should,  and  that  is  why  it  is  so 
hard  for  the  American  to  understand.  They  want  a  highly  trained 
cell  and  they  will  influence  you  and  everyone  around  you.  They  are 
taught  in  their  own  schools  to  do  it.  They  hold  schools  to  do  it.  They 
have  the  teachers  to  teach  you  to  do  it.  Out  of  those  they  classify  their 
students  into  those  that  can  be  trusted  with  discipline  and  those  that 
are  stooges,  fellow  travelers,  and  who  can  be  trusted  to  carry  out  orders 
up  to  a  certain  point. 

No ;  they  do  not  want  all  of  us  to  be  Communists.  You  do  not  see 
in  a  picture  Mr.  Stalin's  picture,  in  a  motion  picture,  or  anything  that 
tries  to  make  you  a  member  of  the  Communist  Party.  If  you  did  the 
American  public  would  throw  eggs  at  it  and  laugh  it  off  the  screen. 
It  has  to  be  a  slow  softening-up  process  at  the  present  time  and  that 
must  be  kept  in  the  hands  of  a  small  and  well-trained  cell,  sometimes 
only  three  in  a  large  union. 

Mr.  Vail.  Well,  I  was  impressed  with  the  fact  that  there  must  have 
been  some  numerical  strength  in  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild  when  it 
became  necessary  for  a  number  of  the  writers  to  resign  from  the  organ- 
ization and  establish  a,  new  organization. 

Mrs.  Rogers.  No.  I  am  not  a  member  of  the  Screen  Writers'  Guild 
but  I  believe  there  are  around  900  memb^i's  and  I  don't  believe  there 
are  over  80  or  90  Communists  or  even  fellow  travelers  in  it.  I  mean 
people  that  agree  with  them  and  follow  their  dictation.  I  don't 
believe  there  are  more  than  that  in  it.  It  doesn't  need  more  than  that. 
In  fact,  eight  of  them  could  run  it  if  they  get  on  the  board. 

Mr.  Vail.  In  other  W' ords,  wdiat  the}^  lack  in  numerical  strength  they 
make  up  in  the  cleverness  of  their  maneuvers  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  They  do  not  want  ever  numerical  strength.  They 
don't  want  it  here  in  the  United  States.  They  don't  want  us  to  be 
Communists.    They  want  to  just  run  us. 

Mr.  Vail.  We  have  pending  before  the  committee  as  you  may  be 
aware,  Mrs.  Rogers,  several  bills  providing  for  legislation  to  outlaw 


236  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

communism.     From  what  you  have  said  tliis  morning  I  take  it  that 
you  favor  sucli  legislation  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Vail.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mrs.  Rogers. 

The  Chairman,  Mrs.  Rogers,  do  you  believe  the  Communist  in- 
fluence in  Hollywood  is  increasing  or  decreasing? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  think  their  activities  are  increasing.  I  think  it  has 
had  a  great  check  put  on  it  by  those  of  us  who  recognized  it  long  ago. 
I  feel  we  have  held  it  in  check  by  exposing  it.  I  know  what  it  would 
be  like  if  we  had  not.  I  know  what  it  would  look  like  now  with 
the  start  that  they  had.  But  in  exposing,  you  see,  when  the  American 
people  find  out  you  have  got  your  battle  about  half  won,  or  maybe 
more  than  that.  But  the  American  people,  they  think  that  a  Com- 
munist is  a  man  with  bushy  eyebrows  and  a  great  huge  Russian  beard. 
They  can't  believe  that  they  could  be  American  citizens.  I  can't 
believe  it  myself.  I  don't  understand  it.  But  they  are — and  pretty, 
too. 

The  Chairman.  Why  are  some  of  the  persons  in  Hollywood  who 
have  been  very  successful  in  their  lives,  w^riters,  actors,  businessmen ; 
why  would  they  follow  the  Communist  line  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  have  often  asked  myself  that.  When  a  man  sits 
alone  w'ith  his  soul  and  sees  what  we  have  in  America,  and  if  he  is 
an  intelligent  man  he  has  looked  around  to  the  rest  of  the  world 
and  has  seen  the  condition  that  the  rest  of  the  world  is  in,  under 
their  forms  of  government,  I  often  wonder  what  in  the  world  he 
is  thinking  about.  What  have  the  Communists  got  that  he  wants? 
The  only  thing  I  can  think  of  is  that  he  must  want  advantage  of  some 
sort,  that  he  must  believe  that  he  is  especially  appointed,  and  that  the 
world  will  make  him  a  god — or  a  commissar,  let  us  say,  which  is  the 
same  thing  in  their  language.  I  can't  understand  that  quirk  of  mind 
myself. 

The  Chairman.  You  believe  then  that  by  exposing  communism,  by 
aiding  to  educate  the  American  people  as  to  the  dangers  of  commu- 
nism, that  we  will  do  more  that  way  to  destroy  their  influence  than 
any  other  way  ? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Well,  I  have  always  said  that  if  a  banker  was  going 
to  break  in  a  new  teller  he  wouldn't  take  him  down  in  the  basement 
and  show  him  99,000,000  kinds  of  counterfeits  that  have  been  offered 
to  the  bank,  but  would  show  him  the  real  thing  and  then  anything 
they  devised  is  no  good,  is  counterfeit,  and  I  think  that  if  we  will  re- 
state American  principles,  and  the  application  of  those  principles  to 
present-day  life,  we  have  got  them  nailed  to  the  mast. 

I  think  that  that  is  the  reason  the}^  have  been  able  to  make  the  in- 
roads that  they  have  now,  because  it  has  been  so  long  since  our  children 
have  had  this  instilled  in  their  schools.  Remember,  Connnunists  are 
in  control  of  many  of  the  schools,  your  clubs,  your  study  clubs,  even 
the  little  women's  clubs,  wdiere  women  come  to  read  books  to  them 
and  explain  plays  to  them.  Communists  have  their  cohorts  that  do 
the  reading  and  choosing  of  the  books — and  the  leftist  book  always 
got  by  beautifully.  It  has  been  a  long  time  since  we  have  had  the 
feeling  that  we  have  a  clear  school,  that  our  children  are  being  taught 
about  America.  I  think  that  when  we  show  the  ]3eople  America,  as 
against  the  face  of  this  thing,  we  have  just  about  licked  it. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  237 

The  CiiAiRMAN.  Well,  can't  the  moving-picture  industry  aid  in 
that  to  a  great  extent? 

Mrs.  RooERS.  Oh,  immeasurably,  but  it  has  been  a  long  time  since 
you  could  get  a  good  American  story  bought  in  the  motion-picture 
industry. 

The  CiiAiRMAx.  Have  you  noticed  any  change  in  that  regard  in  the 
last  (')  months? 

Mrs.  RocERs.  Yes;  I  think  the  feeling  is  beginning  to  change.  I 
think  it  is.  1  think  it  looks  very  hopeful.  I  think  the  lefty  now  has 
been  brought  out  in  his  true  colors  and  I  think  the  executive  is  going 
to  be  afraid  of  him  from  now  on. 

The  Chairman.  Then  these  stories  to  the  effect  that  the  hearings 
currently  being  held  by  the  Un-American  Activities  Committee  are 
harming  the  industry  or  might  harm  the  industry ;  do  you  believe  that 
to  be  true? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  I  do  not.  I  do  not  believe  that  to  be  true.  I  do  not 
believe  that  anything  that  could  happen  with  our  Government  could 
hurt  our  industry.  I  never  want  to  see  the  motion-picture  industry 
controlled — no  more  than  any  other  industry,  except  those  basic  laws 
that  control  every  industry.  I  want  to  see  it  free  to  make  what  it 
wants  to  make,  but  I  want  to  have  it  stay  within  the  truth,  instead  of 
these  lies  we  have  been  told. 

The  Chairman.  Mrs.  Rogers,  what  can  we  do  to  wake  up  the  in- 
dustry to  produce  more  really  American  pictures? 

JNIrs.  Rogers.  I  think  you  are  doing  it. 

The  Chairman.  You  think  we  are  doing  it? 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDow-ell. 

Mr.  McDow^ell.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  think  it  should  be  said  for  the 
record,  and  particularly  for  the  benefit  of  the  representatives  of  the 
press  here  and  the  American  people,  that  Mrs.  Lela  Rogers  is  not 
merely  a  disturbed  lady  who  in  the  course  of  her  activities  in  Holl}^- 
wood  has  stumbled  across  the  fingers  of  this  conspiracy  against  the 
American  Government,  but  that  long  ago  she  discovered  it  and  that 
she  has  become,  in  my  opinion,  one  of  the  outstanding  experts  on  com- 
munism in  the  United  States,  and  particularly  in  the  amusement  in- 
dustry. Her  opinions  are  those  gathered  over  many  years.  I  think 
the  American  people  should  know  that  and  know  that  she  is  lending 
her  great  talents  in  the  general  fight  against  it. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  No  more  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mrs.  Rogers,  and  we  cer- 
tainly liope  we  didn't" put  you  out  too  much  in  coming  all  the  way  from 
Hollywood." 

Mrs.  Rogers.  Not  at  all. 

(Witness  excused.) 

Mr.  Stripling.  The  next  witness,  Mr.  Chairman,  will  be  Mr.  Oliver 
Carlson.  ^f| 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Carlson,  do  you  solemnly  swear  the  testimony" 
you  are  about  to  give  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing 
but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  do. 


"  Seo  apponrlix,  p.  5^1.3,  for  exhibU  54. 
67683 — 47 16 


238  .COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY  OF  OLIVER  CARLSON 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Carlson,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
present  address,  please  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  My  name  is  Oliver  Carlson.  My  address  is  1728 
Westerly  Terrace,  Los  Angeles,  Calif. 

Mr.  Stripling.  When  and  where  were  you  born,  Mr.  Carlson? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  was  born  in  Sweden,  July  31, 1899. 

Mr.  Stripling.  What  is  your  occupation? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  am  a  writer  and  teacher  and  I  specialize  in  the 
field  of  political  science,  more  particularly  in  the  field  of  propaganda 
techniques.    I  have  worked  in  that  field  for  about  20  years  or  more. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Where  are  you  presently  employed  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  am  employed  as  a  teacher  by  the  extension  division 
of  the  University  of  California. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  testimony  of  Mr.  Carlson  will 
be  developed  by  Mr.  Gaston  and  Mr.  Mandel  of  the  committee's  staff. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  how  long  have  you  been  a  student  of  the 
Communist  movement  in  the  United  States? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  I  should  say  all  of  my  adult  life  and  for  the  past 
20  years  in  particular  I  have  given  it  especial  study.  When  I  was  with 
the  University  of  Chicago  from  1930  through  1932  in  the  political 
science  department  I  made  a  special  study  of  the  propaganda  tech- 
niques of  the  Communist  movement  both  abroad  and  in  this  country. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Have  you  written  any  books  or  articles  dealing  with 
certain  phases  of  communism  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes,  I  have  written  a  great  many  articles  over  a  period 
of  20  years  or  so,  appearing  in  many  of  the  national  magazines.  Also 
in  several  of  my  books  I  have  made  special  reference  to  the  problem 
of  communism.  One  of  these  books,  titled  "A  Mirror  for  Califor- 
nians,"  which  I  wrote  in  1939  and  the  early  part  of  1940,  and  which 
was  published  in  the  spring  of  1941,  has  a  good  deal  of  information 
about  the  Communist  movement  in  California,  and  in  one  chapter 
dealing  with  Hollywood  I  devote  a  i^art  of  that  chapter  to  a  discussion 
of  the  Communist  infiltration  in  Hollywood  up  to  that  time. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Would  you  go  into  more  detail  with  regard  to  the 
Communist  infiltration  in  Hollywood,  please,  sir? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  if  I  may  I  would  like  to  give  you  as  a  back- 
ground a  paragraph  or  two  as  to  what  I  had  to  say  about  it  in  this  book 
of  mine,  and  the  material  of  which  was  written,  as  I  say,  9  j^ears  ago. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Is  that  agreeable,  Mr.  Chairman? 

The  Chairman.  Yes.  May  I  interrupt?  Mr.  Gaston,  would  you 
give  your  full  name  ? 

Mr.  Gaston.  Yes,  sir.    Kobert  B.  Gaston,  G-a-s-t-o-n. 

The  Chairman.  Proceed. 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  am  quoting  now  from  pages  154,  5,  and  6,  and  the 
chapter  is  entitled  "There  Is  No  Town  Called  Hollywood." 

I  said : 

Here  is  the  third  ring  just  getting  under  way. 

I  might  say  parenthetically  that  I  had  described  Hollywood  as  a  vast 
three-ring  circus.    I  continue : 

It  is  a  unique  performance  given  by  what  we  may  designate  as  our  Hollywood 
newlyweds. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  239 

It  all  began  back  in  1935,  when  social  consciousness  suddenly  hit  inovieland. 
Like  all  new  fads  and  fancies,  it  was  embraced  with  rapturous  enthusiasm. 
Here  was  something  great  and  good,  something  new  and  daring — but  not  too 
daring.  Stalin  himself  had  just  announced  tliat  Russia  now  had  the  only  geiuiine 
democracy ;  the  Communist  Party  was  wrapping  itself  in  the  Stars  and  Stripes 
and  declaring  that  "Communism  is  twentieth  century  Americanism."  President 
Roosevelt,  no  less,  had  taken  the  national  lead  in  denouncing  economic  royalists 
and  political  re:ictionaries;  while  out  in  California,  Upton  Sinclair  under  the 
slogan  of  "End  poverty  in  California"  had  captured  the  Democratic  gubernatorial 
nomination  in  1934  and  amassed  nearly  a  million  votes. 

In  the  favorable  circumstances  it  is  quite  understandable  how  Hollywood 
sopliisticates  came  to  coin  the  slogan,  "It's  smart  to  be  a  Red."  Astrologists, 
spiritualists,  graphologists,  mystics,  and  fortune  tellers  of  a  hundred  varieties, 
who  had  long  adorned  tlie  parties  and  gave  aid  and  comfort  to  the  great  and  near 
great  of  cinemaland,  were  unceremoniously  dumped.  Their  places  were  taken  by 
serious-minded  young  men  and  women  who  explained  the  inner  workings  of  dia- 
lectical matefialism,  the  theory  of  the  class  struggle,  the  insolvible  contradiction 
of  our  capitalism,  and  the  inevitability  of  the  rule  of  the  proletariat.  Drawing 
room  tables  were  now  replaced  with  the  works  of  Marx,  Lenin,  Stalin,  Browder, 
and  above  all  John  Strachey. 

I  will  not  continue,  Mr,  Questioner,  except  to  say  that  I  follow 
through  here  and  indicate  how  the  Hollywood  pockethooks,  which  had 
never  been  too  tightly  closed,  were  open  wide  to  aid  the  cause  and  its 
champions,  writers,  directors,  and  actors,  and  all  of  these  others  join- 
ing in,  and  how  when  the  Hollywood  Anti-Nazi  League  became  organ- 
ized and  staged  a  series  of  meetings  the  Communists  were  able  to  use 
this,  drawing  into  it  vast  numbers  of  good  American  citizens  who  were 
definitely  anti-Nazi,  but  the  movement  was,  of  course,  controlled  and 
led  by  the  Communist  groups  in  Hollywood. 

Mr.  GAST0^r.  Do  you  know  of  anyone  being  sent  out  from  New  York 
to  Hollywood  to  conduct  the  activities  of  the  Communists  m  Holly- 
wood? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes;  I  do.  I  know  there  were  a  number  of  people 
sent  out  at  various  times.  V.  J.  Jerome  was  one  of  them,  but  the  per- 
son I  think  of  in  particular  was  a  man  whose  name  was  Eli  Jacobson. 

Eli  Jacobson  was  from  New  York,  I  had  known  him  and  his  family 
many,  many  years  ago  when  we  were  boys.  Eli  Jacobson  was  a  charter 
member  of  the  Communist  Party  in  America.  Back  in  the  middle 
twenties  he  had  been  director  of  the  Workers  School  in  New  York  City. 

I  have  here,  in  order  to  identify  that,  a  copy  of  the  announcement 
of  courses  of  the  Workers  School  for  the  year  1926-27,  and  in  it  in  two 
different  places  Mr.  Eli  Jacobson  appears  as  a  teacher  of  courses. 

I  might  add  that  in  this  same  school  there  were  teaching  such  names 
as  have  been  mentioned  here — Albert  Trachtenberg,  the  man  who  was 
said  to  be  the  head  of  the  Cultural  Commission  of  the  Communist 
Party,  and  who  has  been  the  head  man  of  International  Publishers, 
the  publication  house  of  the  Communist  Party  for  many  years, 

Mr.  Mandel.  Mr.  Carlson,  how  is  that  school  designated  on  the 
title  of  the  catalog? 

Mr.  Carlson.  On  the  title  of  the  catalog  it  says  "The  Workers 
School,"  and  below  it  says  in  quotes  "Training  for  the  class  struggle." 

I  might  possibly  read  from  its  definition  at  the  beginning. 

It  says : 

Education  in  a  class  society  cannot  be  indifferent  to  the  struggle  between  classes 
nor  can  it  be  impartial  toward  the  contesting  groups. 

It  goes  on  with  the  typical  Communist  Party  line.  This  is  and  has 
been  for  many  years  the  Communist  Party  school.     Earl  Browder, 


240  COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

William  Z.  Foster,  Jack  Satachov,  William  Weinstone,  almost  every 
important  leader  of  the  Communist  l*arly,  has  at  one  time  or  another 
conducted  classes  or  seminars  in  that  school. 

Mr.  Jacobson  was,  as  I  say,  at  one  time  director  of  this  school  and 
also  served  as  an  instructor  in  it.  He  went  to  Russia  and  taught  for 
the  University  of  Moscow  for  a  time,  I  believe,  and  has  always  been 
considered  a  high  functionary  and  a  particularly  able  propagandist 
for  the  Communist  movement. 

Well,  to  get  back  to  the  case,  I  bumped  into  Mr.  Jacobson  in  Los 
Angeles  some  time  in  1936  but  his  name  was  not  conspicuous  as  a  Com- 
munist there.  He  was  closely  associated  at  that  time  with  a  lady 
known  as  Mrs.  Beryl  La  Cava,  B-e-r-y-1  L-a  C-a-v-a.  Mrs.  La  Cava 
was  the  divorced  wife  of  Gregory  La  Cava,  a  very  splendid  motion- 
picture  director. 

As  I  recall  from  the  newspaper  accounts  of  the  divorce  proceedings, 
Mr.  La  Cava  accused  his  wife  of  being  a  very  ardent  Communist. 

Toward  the  fall  of  1938  my  phone  rang  a  number  of  times  and  Mr. 
Jacobson,  who  had  not  been  on  any  friendly  terms  with  me  for  15 
years,  or  more,  was  suddenly  anxious  to  talk  with  me. 

I  finally  saw  him  one  evening.  He  was  very  much  perturbed  and 
said  he  felt  I  was  the  only  old  friend  he  had  to  whom  he  could  come 
and  talk  because  he  had  decided  to  break  with  the  Communist  Party. 

Then  he  told  me  how  he  had  been  sent  to  Hollywood  under  specific 
instructions  from  the  Central  Committee  of  the  Communist  Party, 
and  that  his  duties  in  Hollywood  were  to  conduct  classes  and,  in  gen- 
eral, eclucational  propaganda  for  the  Communist  Party  among  film 
folk — not  among  the  rank-and-file  workers,  but,  rather,  among  the 
elite,  so  to  speak.  Those  were  the  terms  he  used,  and  that  for  the  past 
2  or  21^  years  that  had  been  the  main  purpose  of  his  work. 

He  told  me  he  had  prepared  the  ground  work  for  several  meetings 
for  V.  J.  Jerome,  who  was,  according  to  ISIr.  Rushmore's  testimony,  the 
active  man  at  the  head  of  Communist  activities  insofar  as  Hollywood 
and  the  film  industry  was  concerned.  He  mentioned  that  he  had  also 
helped  prepare  the  ground  work  for  several  meetings  for  Mr.  Kyle 
Crichton.  Mr.  Crichton  was  at  the  time,  and  I  believe  still  is,  one  of 
the  editors  of  Collier's  Magazine. 

At  that  time  Mr.  Crichton  had  been  writing  under  the  name  of 
Robert  Forsythe,  I  believe  it  is,  in  the  New  Masses,  a  series  of  articles 
on  cultural  problems.  He  was  very  much  lionized  in  Hollywood  and 
spoke  at  a  large  number  of  small  meetings. 

Mr.  Jacobson  told  me  that  he  and  Mrs.  LaCava  were  largely  instru- 
mental in  arranging  these  meetings. 

Mr.  Jacobson  likewise  informed  me  that  part  of  his  job  at  that  time 
was  to  see  to  it  that  many  of  these  important  film  personalities  were 
softened  up  so  that  tliey  would  agree  to  join  the  various  front  organiza- 
tions which  the  Connnunist  Party  was  then  sponsoring  in  the  Holly- 
wood region. 

I  do  not  recall  all  of  the  organizations  he  mentioned,  but  there  were 
some.  There  was  the  League  Airainst  War  and  Fascism.  There  was 
the  Committee  to  Boycott  the  Olympics  in  Berlin.  There  were  the 
various  Connnunist  front  committees  for  the  defense  of  Spain.  There 
were  a  whole  host  of  other  organizations  which  he  referred  to  at  that 
time. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  241 

Mr.  Mandel.  Was  the  Western  Writers  Congress  one  of  those  organ- 
izations? 

Mr.  Cari.son.  Yes,  very  definitely,  the  Western  Writers  Congress, 
which  took  phice  in  Sui  Francisco  in  November  of  lO^B,  was  also  one 
of  those  for  which  INIr.  Jacobson  had  done  preliminary  spade  work 
in  helping  to  bring  a  nnmber  of  writers  from  Hollywood. 

One  other  thing  he  told  me  was  that  his  job  was  to  prepare  the 
gronndwork  for  getting  substantial  contributions  for  the  front  organ- 
izations after  people  had  been  sufficiently  prepared  for  the  various 
party  educational  units,  and  possibly  even  for  the  party,  itself. 

Mi*.  Jacobson,  I  might  say,  was  terribly  agitated.  He  Avas  afraid  he 
was  going  to  be  killed.  I  saw  him  and  Mrs.  LaCava  on  a  number  of 
occasions  during  the  next  8  or  10  months,  and  then  he  left  Los  Angeles 
altogether  and  I  never  heard  of  him  since.  I  don't  know  whether  he 
is  dead  or  alive. 

IVfr.  IMcDowELL.  Do  you  believe  he  was  sincere  in  helping  to  put  the 
party  in  power? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes.  Mr.  Jacobson  had  been,  as  I  said,  one  of  the 
foundation  members  of  the  Communist  Party;  he  had  been  one  of  the 
originators  of  it,  and  had  enjoyed  the  trust  of  the  leaders  of  the  party. 
He  would  not  have  had  the  position  of  Director  of  the  Official  Com- 
munist Party  School  if  he  had  not  enjoyed  that  position. 

He  had  been  taken  to  Moscow,  as  I  say,  both  to  do  some  teaching  and 
I  imagine  to  also  be  prepared  for  other  work  to  be  done  in  this  country. 

INIr.  Jacobson  did  not  appear  openly  as  a  Communist  at  any  time 
during  this  period  he  was  in  Hollywood.  His  job  was  to  sort  of 
carry  his  work  on  under  the  other  guises. 

Mr.  Gaston.  He  was  the  undercover  man  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  in  a  sense;  yes.  He  certainly  never  was  a 
speaker,  to  my  knowledge,  and  he  said  he  was  instructed  not  to  appear 
as  a  speaker  at  Communist  Party  rallies  because  he  had  this  other 
important  job  assigned  to  him. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  are  there  any  educational  institutions 
used  by  the  Communists  to  develop  their  propaganda  in  Hollywood? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes,  indeed.  After  all.  Communist  indoctrination 
has  to  proceed,  among  other  ways,  through  the  use  of  classes  and 
schools.  There  had  been  a  Communist  workers'  school  in  Los  Angeles 
for  a  number  of  years,  but  it  never  amounted  to  very  much.  However, 
along  about  1940,  I  should  say,  the  announcement  was  made  that  a 
"new  general  progressive  or  radical  educational  center  was  to  be 
organized. 

Mr.  William  Wolfe,  W-o-l-f-e,  I  believe  he  spells  it,  who  had  been 
an  educational  director  for  the  International  Ladies'  Garment  Workers' 
Union,  and  who  was  not  a  Commimist,  told  me  he  had  been  approached 
and  offered  the  job  of  director  of  this  new  educational  center.  He 
wanted  to  know  if  I  was  interested.  I  said  I  was  interested  only  if  he 
knew  Avho  was  going  to  be  on  the  board  of  directors,  and  who  was 
behind  it. 

Within  the  matter  of  a  few  weeks  there  was  a  good  deal  of  evidence 
to  show  that  this  school  was  to  be  controlled  by  the  Communists.  Well- 
known  names  of  Communists  began  to  appear  and  Mr.  Wolfe,  who, 
up  to  that  time,  had  been  a  very  close  friend  of  mine,  and  had  called 
on  me  frequently,  suddenly  became  very  distant.     He  was  in  the  com- 


242  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

pany  of  these  other  people  and  with  them  established  the  Peoples 
Educational  Center. 

This  organization,  this  school,  has  been  functioning  and  is  still  func- 
tioning to  this  date. 

Mr.  William  Wolfe  was  removed  as  director  after  a  relatively  short 
period,  and  two  or  three  other  people,  I  believe,  served  as  directors, 
but  for  the  past  2  years  the  director  has  been  Mr.  Sidney  Davison, 
D-a-v-i-s-o-n. 

Sidney  Davison — and  I  think  there  is  ample  evidence  on  this — was 
a  member  of  the  Communist  Party  in  the  New  York  area  and  was  sent 
out  to  Hollywood  specifically  to  take  over  the  job  of  director  of  this 
school.     He  is  the  director  at  the  present  time. 

I  have  in  my  possession  here  two  of  the  official  bulletins  of  the 
Peoples  Educational  Center.  I  have  the  one  published  for  the  summer 
session  of  1945.  I  have  a  photostat  of  the  one  for  the  winter  of  1947, 
and  I  have  copied  out  in  longhand  material  from  a  similar  bulletin  for 
the  year  1944.  Perhaps  I  can  best  explain  what  this  Peoples  Educa- 
tional Center  is 

Mr.  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  may  I  interrupt  you  right  there  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Is  there  anybody  connected  with  the  motion-picture 
industry  on  the  staff  of  that  school  ? 

Mr.  Caklson.  Yes,  indeed,  most  assuredly.  In  fact,  they  have  al- 
ways devoted  a  good  deal  of  attention  to  courses  in  screen  writing, 
motion-picture  production,  and  things  like  that. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Could  we  have  some  of  those  names,  please? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes.  On  the  board  of  directors  for  1947  appears  Mr. 
John  Howard  Lawson,  who  has  been  mentipned  here  before.  On  the 
advisory  board  appears  the  name  of  Helmer  Bergman.  Mr.  Helmer 
Bergman  is  a  well-known  pro-Communist  in  Los  Angeles  working 
in  the  film  industry.  He  has  been  very  active  with  the  Conference  of 
Studio  Unions  in  its  attempt  to  gain  control  over  the  trade  unions. 

On  this  board  was  the  name  of  Mr.  Herbert  Sorrell,  who  is  the  head 
of  the  Conference  of  Studio  Unions,  president,  I  believe,  of  the  Holly- 
wood Painters  local,  and  who  has  been  in  long  and  close  association 
with  all  Communist  and  Communist-front  organizations  over  a  period 
of  years. 

On  this  advisory  board  also  appears  the  name  of  Frank  Tuttle. 
Likewise,  the  name  of  Sandra  Gorney,  G-o-r-n-e-y,  whose  husband, 
I  believe,  is  a  song  writer  in  the  film  industry.  Sandra  Gorney's  name 
has  appeared  rather  frequently  as  a  contril)utor  of  articles  to  the 
Peoples  Daily  World  or  the  Daily  Peoples  World,  and  I  think  I  have 
seen  her  name  also  on  certain  articles  in  Hollywood  in  the  Daily 
Worker. 

Among  the  courses  given  were — this  is  from  the  1947  pamphlet  *- — 
course  on  the  history  of  the  American  labor  movement  given  by  Mr. 
Milton  Tyre,  of  the  law  firm  of  Gallagher,  Margolis,  and  Katz,  two 
of  whose  members  are  here,  I  think,  defending  those  charged  with 
being  un-American  and  subversive  in  their  activities. 

The  Chairman.  I  want  to  make  it  very  plain  the  committee  has  not 
made  any  charges  yet. 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes ;  I  understand  that.  I  say  they  have  been  charged 
by  people  in  Hollywood. 

*^  See  appendix,  p.  533,  for  exhibit  55. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  243 

I  find  a  course  entitled  "Labor's  Key  Problems,"  and  among  the 
teachers  of  this  course  which  deals  specifically  Avith  the  problems  of 
the  motion-picture  industry,  are  Helmer  Berfrman,  whom  I  mentioned 
a  moment  ago;  William  B.  Esteman,  E-s-t-e-m-a-n,  an  attorney  in 
the  firm  of  Esteman  and  Pestana,  P-e-s-t-a-n-a.  The  firm  of  Esteman 
and  Pestana  are  the  official  attorneys  for  the  Conference  of  Studio 
Unions,  Mr,  Herbert  Sorrell's  organization,  which  has  been  accused — 
and  I  think  justly — of  being  under  Communist  domination. 

Also  Mr.  Victor  Kaplan  is  listed  here  as  one  of  the  teachers  in  that 
school.  He  is  an  attorney,  or  was,  according  to  this,  in  the  firm  of 
Gallagher,  Margolis,  and  Katz. 

But  more  specifically,  we  have  the  courses  which  I  believe  your  com- 
mittee is  interested  in.  We  have  here  a  course  called  Motion  Picture 
Direction,  Thursday,  8 :  30  to  10  p.  m.  Coordinator  Irving  Pichel. 
Under  this  it  says  there  will  be  several  lectures. 

A  section  on  story  preparation  by  Herber  Biberman,  who  has  been 
identified  over  a  period  of  years  with  pro-Soviet  organizations. 

A  lecture  on  production  preparation  by  Vincent  Sherman,  S-h-e-r- 
m-a-n,  who  is,  I  believe,  a  screen  writer. 

A  lecture  called  On  the  Set,  by  Frank  Tuttle;  one  on  camera,  by 
Paul  Ivano,  I-v-a-n-o.    I  know  nothing  about  Mr.  Ivano. 

One  on  cutting,  by  Mr.  Edward  Dmytryk,  D-m-y-t-r-y-k,  a  well- 
known  Hollywood  producer. 

One  on  production,  by  Kenneth  Macgowan,  a  well-known  Holly- 
wood producer. 

Music,  by  Hugo  Friedhofer,  who  is  working  in  that  field  in  the 
movies,  and  the  summary  by  Mr.  Pichel. 

There  is  likewise  a  course  entitled  "The  Motion  Picture's  Illusion 
and  Reality."  I  find  under  the  description  of  the  course  the  things 
that  are  to  be  discussed,  and  included  are  the  following  about  the  film 
industry:  Who  owns  the  industry?  Who  controls  it?  How  is  content 
determined  ?  What  is  the  role  of  censorship  ?  Why  the  star  system  ? 
The  current  status  of  the  guilds  and  unions,  and  the  role  of  motion 
pictures  in  international  politics. 

The  teachers  of  this  course,  according  to  this  document,  are  Ben 
Barzman,  B-a-r-z-m-a-n,  Karen  Morley,  M-o-r-l-e-y.  a  well  known 
screen  star;  Arnold  Manoff,  ]M-a-n-o-f-f,  then  it  says  "and  others." 

There  are  also  three  courses  in  screen  writing  given :  Screen  Writ- 
ing 1  is  conducted  by  Robert  Lees.  Screen  Writing  2,  by  Val  Burton. 
Screen  Writing  3  by  Stanley  Rubin.  I  will  quote  from  their  folder 
here  as  to  who  these  people  are  in  just  a  moment. 

There  are  a  number  of  other  courses,  naturally.  In  the  list  of 
biographies  of  instructors  here  I  find  it  says,  about  Mr.  Hehiier 
Bergman : 

Labor  leader  for  many  years ;  member  of  IBEW  No.  40,  A.  F.  of  L. ;  chairman, 
motion  picture  stewards  council. 

Under  Herbert  Biberman,  it  says : 

B.  S.,  University  of  Pennsylvania ;  attended  Baker's  47  Work  Shop,  Yale 
University.  Credits  in  tlie  motion  picture  industry  as  writer  of  original  stories, 
director,  and  is  now  associate  producer. 

I  find  under  "Val  Burton" : 

Writer-producer  at  Universal. 

He  is  mentioned  as  one  of  the  tetichers  of  screen  writing. 


244  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr,  Mandel.  Mr.  Carlson,  under  "Mr,  Biberman,"  does  it  say  that 
he  ever  took  courses  abroad  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  In  the  1947  folder  it  does  not  say  that,  but  I  think  it 
does  say  that  in  the  1945  folder.  Yes.  They  change  the  statements  a 
little  bit  from  year  to  year, 

I  now  quote  from  the  folder  of  the  Peoples  Educational  Center  for 
the  winter  of  1945,  where  it  says,  about  Herbert  Biberman :  *^ 

Six  months  in  the  U.  S.  S.  R.  studying  the  Soviet  Theater.  Four  years  with 
the  Theater  Guild  in  New  York  as  actor  and  director. 

They  change  the  description  a  little  bit  from  year  to  year. 

There  is  Guy  Endore,  author  of  Babouk,  and  coauthor  of  screen 
play,  GI  Joe,  and  other  things.  Mr.  Endore  has  been  identified  with 
Communist  fronts  in  Los  Angeles  since  I  came  out  there  in  the  spring 
of  19;]5. 

Mr.  Robert  Lees,  it  also  says  here,  has  been  actively  writing  in  the 
motion-picture  industry  for  12  years;  for  the  past  3  years  "has  been 
under  contract  to  Paramount." 

Kenneth  Macgowan,  "Dramatic  critic  from  1910  to  1923 ;  play  pro- 
ducer from  1923  to  1931 ;  motion-picture  producer  since  1932." 

I  find  liere  also  Charles  B.  Millholland  teaching  a  couree  at  this 
school.  He  is  a  screenwriter  and  playright.  It  says  "Adapted  his 
brother's  book  to  the  screen  as  Submarine  Patrol.  Author  of  stage, 
screen,  and  radio  successes,  Twentieth  Century. 

I  find  here  Mr.  Pichel  listed  as  "Motion  Picture  Director.  Has  been 
prominent  for  many  years  in  the  New  York  stage.  Has  been  both  an 
actor  and  director  in  cinema." 

I  find  the  name  Stanley  Rubin,  who  was  one  of  the  men  teaching 
the  screen  writing  course.  It  says  here,  "Has  written  for  Columbia 
Workshop,  been  writing  for  motion  pictures  since  1939.  Produced  at 
Universal.  Now  under  contract  at  Columbia."  And  there  are  many 
others  here. 

Mr.  Mandel.  ]Mr.  Carlson,  would  you  state  concisely  what  you  think 
is  the  object  of  training  in  the  school  you  have  mentioned  ? 

Mr.  Caelson.  Well,  the  Peoples  Educational  Center  is  an  extremely 
effective  organization  for  the  indoctrination  of  large  numbers  of 
people  particularly  in  the  general  Hollywood  area,  tliose  concerned 
and  interested  in  films  and  radio,  with  the  Communist  ideology.  It 
also  serves,  as  the  courses  indicate,  to  prepare  these  people  for  screen 
writing,  radio  writing,  screen  acting,  radio  acting,  play  writing,  and 
the  like. 

In  these  courses  not  only  are  the  general  techniques  of  play  writing, 
screen  writing,  and  radio  writing  developed,  but  from  the  information 
I  have  had  by  word  of  mouth  from  many  people  who  have  gone  to  these 
classes  every  course  also  has  brought  into  it  a  good  deal  of  the  current 
Communist  Party  line,  whatever  that  may  be  at  the  particular 
moment. 

I  have  found  no  evidence  of  anyone  who  is  actively  anti-Communist 
employed  on  the  staff.  There  have  been  several  innocent  people  drawn 
into  the  staff  at  various  times,  specialists  in  many  fields.  Those  who 
got  in,  such  as  Mr.  Dean  McHenry,  of  the  University  of  California 
at  Los  Angeles,  when  he  discovered  he  was  being  used  by  this  move- 

■^  See  appendix,  p.  533,  for  exhibit  56. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  245 

ment,  refused  to  teach  any  further  and  openly  repudiated  the  school 
and  communism. 

Mr,  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  in  your  opinion  how  should  a  Communist 
be  defined? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  I  should  think  that  looking  at  the  situation 
as  it  exists  in  the  world  today  we  have  to  think  in  terms  first  of  the 
Communist  Party  member  who  is  directly  and  organizationally  tied  to 
the  Communist  Party  and  who,  of  course,  is  under  the  very  strict 
discipline  of  that  party  which  functions  virtually  as  a  military  organi- 
zation in  terms  of  structure  and  discipline. 

But  over  and  beyond  this  group  which,  according  to  the  testimony 
of  the  representative  of  the  Central  Committee  of  the  Communist 
Party,  was  slightly  more  than  80,000  at  the  beginning  of  this  year, 
and  which  they  hoped  would  reach  100,000  by  the  end  of  September 
of  this  year — beyond  that  I  should  say  are  those  who  are  pro-Commu- 
nist, that  is,  those  who  are  ready  to  give  first  loyalty  to  the  Soviet 
Union  and  any  of  its  activities,  whether  they  are  done  by  the  Com- 
munist Party,  the  front  organizations,  or  what  have  you. 

Within  this  group,  according  to  Communists  whom  I  have  spoken 
with,  they  feel  they  represent  on  an  average  three  to  four  times  the 
membership  of  the  Communist  Party  itself. 

Then  beyond  that  we  have  those  who  go  along,  the  fellow  travelers 
who  follow  Communist  Party  policy  and  dictation  most  of  the  time, 
but  not  necessarily  all  of  the  time. 

Mr.  Gaston.  To  your  knowledge,  how  does  the  Communist  Party 
function,  Mr.  Carlson  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  think  the  effectiveness  of  the  Communist  Party  is 
determined  by  its  organizational  structure  which  was  developed  orig- 
inally by  Lenin  nearly  40  years  ago.  There  is  a  basic  difference  be- 
tween the  two  divisions.  The  Russian  Social  Democratic  Party  existed 
from  about  1903  to  1905  and  centered  around  the  concept  of  party 
structure.  It  was  Lenin  who  maintained  at  that  time  that  for  effec- 
tive work  the  party  must  be  a  small,  highly  integrated,  highly  disci- 
plined organization  of  professional  revolutionaries — and  he  used  the 
term  "professional  revolutionaries." 

The  Menshevik  faction  felt  they  should  have  a  broader  organization, 
they  should  not  be  as  well  disciplined,  and  should  be  more  or  less  in 
line  with  the  social  democratic  parties. 

Around  this  basic  issue  of  organizational  structure  the  party  split 
and  Lenin's  concept  prevailed.  That  concept  was  carriecl  through 
successfully  in  Russia  and  when  the  Communist  International  was 
established  the  provisos  laid  down,  first  in  the  famous  21  points  of 
the  Communist  International,  and  later  in  a  whole  series  of  special 
directives  and  resolutions  at  various  Congresses,  and  which  were  car- 
ried over  into  the  actions  of  the  various  Communist  parties  of  the 
.^vorld— these  parties  followed  the  pattern  set  down  originally  by 
Lenin.  That  is,  the  party  was  a  small,  highly  disciplined  organiza- 
tion functioning,  in  a  sense,  by  what  Robert  Miner  described  at  one 
time  as  a  "system  of  wheels  within  wheels."  That  is,  they  were  the 
inner  wheel  which  in  turn  turned  and  moved  larger  wheels  or  masses 
of  people  and  organizations  around  them, 

Mr.  McDowell.  The  opposition  to  that  inside  the  Communist 
Party  was  Trotsky  ? 


246  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Carlson.  Not  at  that  time.  I  think  Trotsky  was  in  part  op- 
posed to  it,  but  I  think  his  differences  were  somewhat  different,  on  a 
different  line.  He  came  to  accept  the  Lenin  concept.  No,  they  were 
men  like  Mastov  and  Plekanov,  and  a  group  of  other  names  which 
escape  me  at  the  moment,  which  became  what  was  known  as  the 
Menshevik  group. 

This  party,  this  group,  was  liquidated  by  the  Communists.  We 
have,  living  in  America,  incidentally,  one  of  the  members  of  that  old 
executive  committee  when  the  Bolsheviks  and  Mensheviks  were  still 
united,  Raphael  Abramowitz,  who  was  on  the  purge  list  for  a  long 
time,  and  I  believe  still  is. 

Mr.  McDowell.  Mr.  Carlson,  I  have  one  more  question.  Not  all 
of  them  were  liquidated.  If  I  recall  correctly,  there  was  one  rather 
minor  figure  in  those  days  named  Andrei  Vishinsky  who  made  the 
grade  finally. 

Mr.  Carlson.  Yes,  that  is  true.  There  were  some  of  them  who 
later  repudiated  by  open  concession  the  error  of  their  ways  and  were 
then  allowed  to  come  into  the  Communist  Party.  Not  only  was 
Vishinsky  one  of  those  men  but  the  nian  who  has  been  chief  editorial 
writer  for  Pravda;  Soflovsky  was  one  of  those  men  who  fought 
bitterly  against  the  Communists  well  up  through  the  early  years  of 
the  Russian  revolution,  and  was  finally  compelled  to  eat  crow.  There 
were  many  of  those. 

Reading  the  proceedings  of  the  Communist  Party  Congi-ess,  you 
notice  how  every  once  in  a  while  these  men  still  have  their  pasts 
dragged  out  and  held  as  a  threat  over  them  to  keep  them  in  line. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  Mr.  Chairman,  referring  again  to  the  catalog  of  the 
Peoples  Educational  Center,  the  one  of  1947,  in  order  to  get  some  idea 
of  the  complexion  of  the  school  publicizing  these  courses  in  direct- 
ing, acting,  and  so  on,  it  says : 

Thursday,  8 :  30-10  p.  m. :  The  Soviet  Union,  a  new  civilization.  A  seminar 
type  course  which  will  discuss  the  social,  economic,  and  political  structure  of 
the  U.  S.  S.  R.  Topics  to  he  discussed  will  include:  Man  as  a  citizen  of  a 
planned  society — social  security,  health  insurance,  etc. — education — science  in 
Soviet  society — trade  unions  under  socialism — art  and  culture — national  minority 
relationships — the  Soviet  Union  and  the  UNO. 

The  Chairman.  What  is  the  name  of  that  school  ? 

Mr.  Stripling.  Peoples  Educational  Center. 

Mr.  Mandel.  Mr,  Carlson,  do  you  have  an  additional  list  of  persons 
connected  with  the  motion-picture  industry  who  are  connected  with 
the  Peoples  Educational  Center? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  as  one  goes  through  the  various  catalogs,  which 
is  the  only  place  where  you  can  get  the  authoritative  material,  you 
find  many  other  names  appearing.  For  instance,  in  the  1944  brochure, 
I  see  these  names  as  teachers ;  which  were  not  mentioned  heretofore : 
Morton  Grant,  a  screen  writer;  Thomas  Job.  It  said  he  was  then  a 
screen  writer  at  Warner  Bros.  Michael  Uris,  a  screen  writer; 
Dorothy  Tree,  a  film  actress ;  Leo  Hurwitz,  who  had  been,  and  I  be- 
lieve still  is,  connected  with  the  film  industry;  Earl  Robinson,  well 
known  for  his  songs  and  ballads. 

I  find  that  in  that  year  among  the  teachers  was  a  Mr.  Charles  J. 
Katz,  attorney;  Mr.  Benjamin  Margolis,  attorney;  Mr.  Leo  Gallagher, 
attorney,  and  Mr.  Milton  Tyre,  attorney.  They  were  all  of  the  firm 
of  Gallagher,  Margolis,  and  Katz, 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  247 

Mr.  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  why  do  the  Communists  devote  so  much 
time  and  attention  to  gaining  control  and  influence  in  Hollywood,  in 
your  opinion  ? 

Mr.  Caklson.  Well,  as  a  non-Hollywood  or  a  nonscreen  person,  it 
seems  to  me  the  answer  to  that  falls  into  several  questions.  First  of 
all,  the  evidence  is  overwhelming  from  the  writings  and  statements 
of  leading  Connnunists  in  Europe,  Russia,  and  United  States  that  the 
iilm  industry  itself  is  one  of  the  most  ettective  mass  mediums  of 
information.  Since  it  is  necessary  for  Communists  to  try  to  use 
influence,  any  mass  medium  of  information,  that  per  se  would  make 
the  film  industry  a  very  vital  one. 

Secondly,  I  should  say  the  fact  that  screen  personalities  have  at- 
tained an  amazing  public  following — and  I  think  this  has  been  well 
demonstrated  right  here  in  these  hearings  duffing  the  past  few, days 
by  the  way  in  which  large  numbers  of  people  are  anxious  to  hear  and 
to  see  screen  stars.     That  applies  all  over  the  country. 

To  the  Communists  who  want  to  get  as  large  a  hearing  as  they  can 
for  themselves,  and  to  get  their  front  organizations  made  as  respectable 
as  possible,  what  could  be  more  effective  than  to  try  to  inveigle,  in 
some  way  or  another,  various  screen  personalities  to  serve  on  their 
committees  ? 

When  you  have  Katherine  Hepburn  speaking  at  a  front  organization 
for  the  Conmuniists  you  can  be  sure  tliere  will  be  thousands  of  people 
there,  where  there  might  only  be  hundreds  if  the  regular  Communist 
Party  functionaries  appeared.  Whenever  any  of  the  other  screen 
personalities  lend  their  names  or  their  signatures  to  any  organization 
or  cause  which  the  Communists  are  promoting,  it  automatically  makes 
this  cause  seem  more  fashionable  in  the  eyes  of  unsophisticated  people 
all  over.  They  say,  "If  this  big  star  is  for  it  I  guess  it  must  be  all 
right."     That  is  very  natural. 

So,  from  that  point  of  view  they  are  able  to  influence  opinion  by 
merely  using  the  names  of  these  people,  or  having  them  appeal*. 

Then  I  should  say  there  is  a  third  very  important  point,  and  that  is 
the  financial  aspect.  I  do  not  have  to  tell  this  conunittee  that  the 
motion-picture  industry  is  not  exactly  a  sweatshop  industry.  The 
salaries,  even  in  the  trades,  are  probably  the  highest  in  the  country, 
so  when  you  can  win  screen  writers,  screen  actors,  directors,  producers, 
■or  their  wives  or  sisters  or  children  to  support  your  cause,  you  are 
helping  to  open  the  way  for  a  great  deal  of  financial  aid. 

I  might  say  that  Mr.  Jacobson,  as  I  testified  earlier,  told  me  that 
untold  tens  of  thousands  of  dollars  were  collected  through  the  soften- 
ing-up  process  of  his  various  house  meetings  in  Hollywood, 

The  Hollywood  Citizen  News,  a  daily  paper  in  Hollywood,  after 
careful  investigation,  reported  in  an  editorial  a  few  years  ago  that 
they  thought  at  least  $3,000,000  had  been  taken  out  of  Hollywood  up 
to  that  time. 

At  a  meeting  held  very  recently  in  Hollywood  on  one  of  the  large 
front  organizations,  I  believe,  something  like  $87,000  was  collected. 
These  sums  are  absolutely  fabulous.  Here  is  a  treasure  chest  which 
is  important.  "Wliy  worry  about  Moscow's  gold  when  you  can  get 
Hollywood  greenbacks. 

Of  course,  there  is  still  one  other  aspect,  and  I  think  this  has  been 
neglected  up  to  this  point  in  the  hearing.  That  is  the  fact  that  in 
terms  of  the  number  of  people  employed  in  Hollywood,  those  who  are 


248  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY 

actors,  writers,  producers,  and  directors  represent  only  a  small  mi- 
nority of  the  total  number  employed  in  the  motion-picture  industry. 
The  tens  of  thousands  of  workers  in  the  industry  are  those  who  are 
the  stage  crews,  and  who  do  all  the  other  technical  jobs.  There  they 
struggle  for  the  conquest  of  these  labor  organizations,  to  win  their 
support,  which  is,  of  course,  a  typical  and  long-standing  technique  and 
one  of  their  most  pertinent  objectives — to  win  the  labor  movement. 

This  idea  to  win  economic  control  over  the  trade  unions  in  Holly- 
wood would  be  a  real  feather  in  their  cap  and  could  be  used,  then,  to 
bring  economic  pressure  to  bear  on  the  entire  industry  as  occasion 
would  demand  because  the  Communists  consider  the  trade  unions  to 
be  organs  for  revolutionary  purposes. 

We  need  only  see  what  has  happened  in  France,  Italy,  and  elsewhere 
during  the  past  few  weeks  to  see  that  in  action. 

The  Communists  have  not  succeeded  in  doing  this  in  Hollywood  but 
I  must  say  that  during  the  past  12  years  where  I  have  been  watching 
it  at  first-hand  they  have  certainly  put  up  a  tremendous  struggle  to 
achieve  all  these  objectives. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Do  you  believe  there  is  any  attempt  at  thought  control 
in  the  motion-picture  industry,  and,  if  so,  how  is  it  done  and  by  whom  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  have  been  hearing  a  lot  about  that.  In  fact,  the 
pro-Communists  arranged  a  conference  in  Hollywood  only  a  matter  of 
weeks  ago  which  was  called  a  thought-control  congress.  They  were 
shouting  very  loudly  that  thought  control  was  being  put  over  on  the 
American  people  and  on  the  film  industry  in  particular. 

It  seems  rather  amusing  to  me— sadly  amusing,  in  fact — that  people 
endorse  and  support  the  Communist  Party  line  when  we  know  that  in 
Soviet  Russia  the  films,  the  radio,  the  press,  and  every  other  vehicle 
of  communication  has  been  completely  controlled  by  the  State  and  the 
Communist  Party. 

I  say  when  we  see  that  record  then  to  have  the  Communists  here 
locally  becoming  the  champions  of  freedom  of  thought,  it  is  weird,  to 
say  the  least.  But  that  is  part  of  what  I  would  call  "Communist 
semantics."  They  make  words  fit  the  definitions  which  they  desire, 
and,  consequently,  they  take  on  various  forms. 

But  insofar  as  actual  thought  control  in  Hollywood  is  concerned, 
I  have  seen  none,  except  perhaps  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  pressure 
which  has  been  brousfht  bv  these  verv  same  pro-Communist  elements 
themselves  upon  the  industry.  During  these  last  8  years  I  have  been 
amazed  to  discover  that  outside  of  two  minor  films  which  were  sort  of 
a  sly  take-off  on  communism — Ninotchka  was  one,  and  I  have  forgotten 
the  name  of  the  other. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Was  that  Comrade  X  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Comrade  X,  that  is  right.  Then  there  were  three 
definitely  pro-Soviet  films  w^hich  were  made  during  the  war,  and  I 
can  understand  why  they  were  made.  Russia  was  then  our  ally,  and 
we  certainly  bent  over  backward  to  give  them  everything  they  wanted. 
But  over  and  above  that,  the  important  aspect  of  thought  control  is 
this :  During  all  these  years  when  thousands  of  films  have  been  made 
from  the  point  of  view  of  sheer  drama  I  haven't  seen  a  single  film 
built  around  attempts  of  people  to  escape  from  the  clutches  of  the 
G.  P.  U.,  but  we  certainly  have  had  them  trying  to  escape  from  the 
clutches  of  the  Gestapo. 


COMMUNISM   IN   MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  249 

We  have  had  lots  of  fihns  dealing?  with  British  imperialism,  French 
imperialism,  Dutch  imperialism,  and  American  imperialism  of  one 
kind  or  another.  I  have  seen  nothing  which  deals  with  Soviet  im- 
perialism. 

We  have  had  a  lot  of  films  about  farmers  in  this  country.  I  have 
seen  no  attempt  by  the  motion-picture  industry  to  tell  the  story  of  how 
several  million  individual  farmers  in  Russia  were  liquidated  outright, 
or  sent  to  concentration  camps,  because  they  tried  to  resist  the  col- 
lectivism program  of  the  Soviet  government. 

I  think  the  thought  control  has  been  all  on  the  other  side.  I  am 
very  sure  as  a  student  of  propaganda  that  propaganda  is  effective  not 
merely  from  what  you  say  but  from  what  you  do  not  say.  By  refus- 
ing to  permit  the  American  people  to  see  in  films  the  true  picture  of 
the  various  things  that  have  been  going  on  in  the  Soviet  Union  it 
has  been  easy  to  keep  that  matter  out  of  discussion. 

Meanwhile,  of  course,  there  have  been  these  many  films  and  I  think 
there  is  a  place  for  them,  films  of  social  conscience,  which  deals  with 
aspects  of  weaknesses  in  our  own  democratic  society. 

One  other  point :  I  believe  that  the  place  of  the  film  is  to  deal  with 
all  aspects  of  life,  not  as  films  of  propaganda  but  as  merely  mirroring 
what  is  happening.  I  think  it  is  high  time  we  call  attention  to  the 
fact  that  a  large  number  of  these  writers  who  have  been  mentioned 
here  today,  yesterday,  and  the  day  before,  and  who  believe  and  ac- 
tively support  and  espouse  the  cause  of  communism  when  they  do 
pictures  pointing  out  the  defects  of  the  American  system,  the  economic 
and  political  system,  I  think  they  come  before  us  with  unclean  hands. 
I  do  not  think  they  are  honest  in  their  criticism. 

They  have  another  objective,  the  purpose  being  not  to  try  to  remedy 
these  things  wdthin  the  framework  which  our  Constitution  and  our 
various  State  laws  provide,  but,  rather,  to  break  the  spirit  of  the 
American  people,  to  make  them  think  the  American  way  of  life  is 
not  good,  that  all  politicians  are  opportunists,  that  businessmen  in 
general  are  corrupt,  that  labor  leaders  who  do  not  follow  the  Com- 
munist line  are  venal  and  stupid  and  agents  of  capitalism,  as  they 
call  it.  These  are  all  part  of  the  general  picture  which  these  men  have 
been  giving.  I  think  that  is  control,  very  definitely.  That  I  am  op- 
posed to,  and  I  think  every  American  is  opposed  to  it. 

Mr.  Mandfx.  Mr.  Carlson,  has  there  been  any  effort  on  the  part  of 
the  Communist  group  in  Hollywood  to  control  the  public  schools  of 
the  community  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  yes;  there  has.  We  have  had  a  very  bad  situ- 
ation in  Hollywood  insofar  as  the  American  Federation  oi  Teachers 
local  is  concerned.  That  has  been  dominated  by  the  Communists  for 
a  period  of  several  years.  I  have  spoken  about  this  matter  with  na- 
tional officers  of  the  American  Federation  of  Teachers  at  various  times, 
and  I  know  they  are  very  much  worried  about  it.  There  are  hun- 
dreds, perhaps  thousands,  of  teachers  who  probably  would  belong  to 
that  organization,  but  many  of  them  have  told  me,  "I  won't  join  the 
American  Federation  of  Teachers  local  in  Los  Angeles  as  long  as  it 
spends  its  time  merely  supporting  Russia  and  denouncing  ever3''thing 
that  America  is,'*  and  doesn't  function  as  a  trade  union  movement. 

Mr.  Mandel.  Mr.  Carlson 


250  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.  Carlson.  One  other  point.  Miss  LaRue  McCormick,  a  well- 
known  local  Communist,  has  been  running  for  the  board  of  educa- 
tion at  various  times.  In  fact,  she  ran  as  a  Communist  in  the  elec- 
tions in  the  spring  of  this  year,  this  last  April,  to  be  exact.  Running 
as  an  avowed  Communist,  it  may  be  of  interest  to  this  committee  to 
knoAv  that  she  received  a  total  of  24,543  votes  for  member  of  the  board 
of  education  in  the  Los  Angeles  school  district. 

In  1943,  when  she  ran  for  the  same  position,  she  received  only  15,000 
votes.  So  she  had  picked  up  about  9,543  votes  of  people  Avho  were 
definitely  ready  to  support  a  Communist  on  the  board  of  education. 

Mr.  Mandel.  What  is  the  source  of  your  information 

Mr.  McDowell.  Excuse  me.  Do  you  know  how  many  votes  were 
cast? 

Mr.  Carlson.  There  were  about  300,000  or  350,000;  I  don't  remem- 
ber that  figure.  It  was  a  fairly  heavy  vote  for  a  board  of  education 
vote,  which  is  usually  light.  But  it,  of  course,  was  small  compared 
with  the  total  vote  that  is  normally  cast  in  a  national  or  even  a  mu- 
nicipal election  for  mayor.  This  was  a  very  large  vote,  I  should  say. 
It  represented  perhaps  8  or  9  percent  of  the  total  vote  cast  in  that 
election — maybe  more  than  that.  I  could  supply  the  committee  with 
figures.  These  quotations  I  take,  by  the  way,  are  from  the  People's 
Daily  World  of  April  5,  1947.    I  ani  quoting^^ 

Mr.  McDowell.  That  is  a  Communist  paper  ? 

Mr.  Carlson.  That  is  a  Communist  paper  on  the  west  coast,  which 
circulates  very  widely  in  Hollywood. 

Mr.  Gaston.  Mr.  Carlson,  can  you  tell  us  a  little  bit  about  the 
strength  of  comnmuism  in  the  labor  organizations  and  cultural  organi- 
zations, as  briefly  as  possible? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  they  function  in  all  of  these  organizations.  So 
far  as  the  Los  Angeles  picture  is  concerned,  I  should  say  the  greatest 
strength  in  the  labor  movement  lies  within  the  CIO.  Mr.  Philip 
Connelly,  the  secretary  of  the  CIO  council,  has  I  think,  at  least  to  my 
satisfaction,  been  proved  to  be  a  Communist,  and  works  with  them 
and  has  for  years.  The  whole  host  of  officials  in  other  unions,  in  the 
CIO  unions,  do  the  same.  The  main  strength  of  the  Communists  in 
the  A.  F.  of  L.  has  been  precisely  in  the  group  of  unions  called  the 
Conference  of  Studio  Unions,  headed  by  Mr.  Herbert  SorrelL  But  I 
think  that  when  Mr.  Brewer  comes  on  the  stand  he  will  probably 
develop  that  at  greater  detail,  in  greater  detail. 

Mr.  Gaston.  In  your  opinion,  Air.  Carlson,  what  is  the  best  method 
available  to  combat  communism  in  the  various  fields? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Well,  it  seems  to  me  that  possibly  it  might  be  well  if 
we  could  devise  a  sort  of  law  comparable  to  the  Pure  Food  and  Drug 
Act,  where  we  label  poison  so  that  people  won't  get  it,  or  adulterated 
foods — making  them  put  the  label  on  it.  I  would  like  to  see  some  sort 
of  a  label  that  had  to  be  put  on  all  types  of  Communist  propaganda — 
point  one.  I  think  if  it  were  labeled  for  what  it  is,  it  would  in  itself 
help  a  great  deal.  I  don't  know  whether  that  can  be  done,  but  I  think 
that  is  a  point  to  bear  in  mind. 

I  think  if  every  issue  of  any  Communist  publication  had  to  carry 
a  notice  in  a  box  in  black  type  stating  "This  organ  is  printed  in  the 
interest  of  communism,"  and  which  seeks  to  destroy  the  American 
form  of  government  and  functions  as  an  agent  of  the  Soviet  Govern- 
ment, it  probably  would  do  a  good  deal  to  stop  some  of  those  things. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY  251 

But  over  and  above  that,  I  think  that  the  strength  of  communism 
lies  in  its  oi-f^anizational  structure.  If  we  can  destroy  the  structure, 
this  thing  which  Lenin  set  up  long  ago,  I  think  then,  while  you  don't 
destroy  Conmiunist  agitation  or  propaganda  in  America — I  don't 
think  you  can  do  that — yoii  can,  I  think,  reduce  it  very,  very  severely. 
From  that  point  of  view  I  believe  that  it  would  be  certainly  a  good 
thing  if  the  Connnunist  Party  itself  were  outlawed.  I  know  this  will 
mean  that  the  Communist  Party  will  function  illegally,  but  it  would 
also  mean  that  thousands  and  tens  of  thousands  of  people  who  now 
sort  of  flutter  along  the  edges  would  withdraw.  It  means  that  Com- 
munist meetings  could  not  take  place  openly,  in  public  halls,  schools, 
and  churches.  It  would  mean  that  we  would  have  destroyed  a  vital 
social  cancer.  I  know  there  is  always  danger  that  innocent  people 
would  be  destroyed  along  with  it,  but  I  think  if  you  have  got  a  cancer 
in  your  system  you  have  got  to  have  an  operation  and  while  there  may 
be  some  good  live  tissue  that  goes  out  with  it,  I  would  rather  take  the 
chance  on  the  oj^eration  so  the  person  can  recover  than  to  have  them 
say  afterward,  "Well,  what  a  handsome  looking  corpse  he  is." 
Mr.  Gaston.  I  have  no  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 
The  Chairman.  Mr.  McDowell  ? 

Mr.  McDowell.  I  have  no  questions,  Mr.  Chairman,  but  I  have 
been  an  amateur  student  of  communism  and  Communist  activity  and 
its  history  for  more  than  20  years,  and  I  doubt  very  seriously  if  any 
witness  that  ever  came  before  this  committee — Mr.  Chairman  and 
Mr,  Vail — has  expressed  such  a  profound  knowledge  of  this  phenomena 
as  Mr.  Carlson. 

There  is  some  great  agitation  in  America  to  do  something  about 
the  immigration  laws,  to  slow  down  immigration.  Something  should 
be  done  to  readjust  those  laws.  But  to  slow  down  or  stop  immigra- 
tion may  stop  future  citizens  like  Mr.  Carlson  from  coming  to  the 
United  States.  I  feel  that  you  have  made  a  great  contribution  to 
your  country.     Thank  you,  sir. 

Mr.  Carlsox.  Well,  thank  you.     May  I  say  I  was  brought  to  this 
country  as  a  baby.     I  didn't  come  here  except  my  parents  brought  me 
over  when  I  was  a  child  in  arms. 
The  Chairman.  Mr.  Vail. 

Mr.  Vail.  Mr.  Carlson,  have  you  any  knowledge  of  whether  or  not 
the  school  to  which  you  referred  is  an  accredited  school  under  the  GI 
training  provisions? 

Mr.  Carlson.  So  far  as  I  understand,  a  very  serious  attempt  was 
made  to  get  the  Peoples  Educational  Center  accredited.  I  don't  think 
they  were  accredited.  I  know  that  the  equivalent  of  this  school  in 
San  Francisco — the  San  Francisco  Labor  School — at  least  for  a  short 
time  did  succeed  in  getting  Government  money.  I  can't  honestly 
state  that  I  know  whether  the  Peoples  Educational  Center  is  getting 
it  or  not.  But  I  think  that  was  stopped.  If  they  did  get  it  for  a 
short  time;  I  think  it  was  stopped. 

Mr.  Vail.  In  your  opinion,  Mr.  Carlson,  is  this  congressional  in- 
vestigation into  communistic  activities  in  Hollywood  justified? 

Mr.  Carlson.  Xot  only  justified,  but  I  should  think  long  overdue. 
I  think  a  full-scale  airing  of  the  situation  that  we  have  had  out  there 
is  going  to  be  a  very  healthy  thing  for  the  country  and  for  the  whole 
of  the  Hollywood  industry. 


252  COMMUNISM    IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

Mr.^VAiL.  Would  you  consider  tlie  communistic  threut  to  America 
today  a  dangerous  threat? 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  think  it  is  the  most  dan<i:erous  threat  that  the  United 
States  has  ever  faced  since  it  was  founded.  I  know  of  no  threat  as 
great  as  this,  and  the  evidence  I  think  is  to  be  seen  in  the  actions  of  the 
Soviet  Union  in  every  sphere  here  in  the  past  2  or  3  years. 

Mr.  Vail.  From  your  observation  of  the  activities  of  the  committee, 
of  the  hearings  which  you  have  heard  to  date,  is  it  your  feeling  that 
the  committee  has  acted  as  an  investigative  body,  or  as  prosecutor  or 
persecutor? 

Mr.  Carlsox.  Well,  I  certainly  have  seen  no  prosecution  or  perse- 
cution. I  think  each  witness  has  told  what  he  had  to  say,  whether  it 
was  in  the  form  of  facts  or  opinions,  and  I  think  your  committee  has 
been  very  kind  and  generous  in  listening  to  us  and  letting  us  tell,  our 
story.  I  know^  that  some  of  these  people  that  came  out  here  felt  that 
they  were  really  jeopardizing  their  own  economic  security  by  doing 
this.  I  think  they  should  be  congratulated  for  it.  I  don't  happen  to 
be  in  the  industry  and  I  don't  have  that  particular  problem,  but  I 
know^  that  many  of  them  did.  I  think  your  committee  is  doing  a 
very  good  job  and  I  hope  it  continues  on  this,  same  basis  of  getting 
everything  that  can  be  said  by  the  people  who  are  on  both  sides  of 
this  issue. 

Mr.  Vail.  Skilled  as  you  are  in  the  mechanics  of  propaganda,  as 
evidenced  here  today,  I  wonder  if  you  would  venture  an  opinion  with 
respect  to  the  criticisms  that  have  been  directed  against  this  committee 
by  newspaper  columnists,  by  editorialists,  by  the  attorney  for  the  film 
producers'  association,  and  by  the  president  or  general  manager,  John- 
ston, of  the  association. 

I  am  a  confirmed  moviegoer  myself  and  last  night  it  was  my  expe- 
rience to  take  in  a  moving  picture  that  showed  a  flash  scene  at  this 
hearing.  It  was  a  short  flash  and  it  was  followed  by  a  rather  extended 
statement  on  the  part  of  Eric  Johnston,  in  which  he  stated  that  an 
effort  was  being  made  to  establish  the  fact  that  the  films  were  colored, 
to  introduce  Communist  propaganda  and  other  statements  to  like 
eifect,  which  were  bound  to  have  an  effect  upon  the  thinking  of  the 
public  that  viewed  those  films.  Certainly,  the  writings  of  the  edito- 
rialists and  the  columnists  and  these  moving  pictures  where  jNIr, 
Johnston  has  the  j)referred  spot  to  present  his  views  to  the  public 
would  have  the  effect  of  depreciating  the  effort  of  this  committee, 
which  is,  after  all,  directed  by  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  to 
investigate  this  situation,  and  as  a  matter  of  fact,  the  investigation  was 
not  launched  until  it  was  indicated  that  it  was  necessary  by  the  previous 
investigation  of  the  subcommittee  that  went  to  Hollywood  to  gain 
on-the-ground  facts. 

What  is  your  impression  of  the  effect  that  it  would  have  upon  the 
American  people  for  men  of  standing  in  the  community  and  in  the 
industry,  and  with  the  influence  of  the  newspapers  whose  point  of  view 
undoubtedly  would  have  an  influence  upon  the  public?  Don't  you 
think  today  that  it  is  necessary  to  alert  the  American  people  to  the 
danger  of  communism  and  not  to  lull  them  into  a  sense  of  false 
security? 

Mr.  Carlson.  With  respect  to  your  last  point,  six,  I  agree  very 
thoroughly. 


COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE   INDUSTRY  253 

I  do  think,  on  the  other  hand,  that  the  producers  have,  of  course, 
the  complete  right  to  express  any  opinion  they  want  to.  I  think  they 
are  very  wrong  in  what  they  are  proposing  and  saying  about  this 
connnittee.  I  tliink  that  in  the  case  of  some  of  these  people  they  have 
kept  their  eyes  so  closed  to  this  whole  issue,  closed  deliberately,  and  as 
the  biblical  injunction  says,  '"There  are  none  so  blind  as  those  that 
will  not  see."  1  think  there  are  others  who  have  been  so  much  concerned 
with  making  money  out  of  the  films.  And  the  films,  of  course,  are 
highly  sensitive  to  public  criticism  of  all  kinds.  They  don't  realize 
how  they  have  reacted  to  the  criticism  from  the  left,  and  now  when 
they  see  public  pressure  and  indigation  arising  over  the  laxness,  shall 
we  say,  the  carelessness  with  which  they  have  looked  after  an  industry, 
which  may  belong  to  them  in  terms  of  fiscal  ownership,  but  which 
certainly  belongs  to  the  American  people  as  a  great  social  institution 
and  annisement  center  to  which  they  go  by  the  tens  of  millions  every 
week,  I  think  they  are  a  little  bit  panicky.  I  think  they  are  good  men, 
honest  men,  and  good  Americans,  but  I  think  they  are  frightened  and 
because  of  that  are  issuing  I  should  say  injudicious  statements. 

Might  I  add  one  other  point  with  respect  to  the  editorials.  In  a 
study  which  was  made  a  mnnber  of  years  ago,  and  a  study  which  I 
supplemented  of  my  own  to  some  degree,  on  the  effect  of  editorials 
on  the  thinking  of  the  American  people,  I  am  rather  sorry  to  say  that 
very  few  people  are  very  effectively  influenced  by  editorials. 

-I  know  that  on  the  Hearst  chain,  the  study  that  was  made  on  that, 
they  found  that  only  8  percent  of  the  population  of  the  readers  of 
the  Hearst  chain,  admitted  they  were  influenced  by  the  editorials. 
The}^  are  influenced  by  the  news.    They  are  influenced  by  what  happens. 

But  the  influence  of  the  editor  in  American  life  has  been  steadily 
declining  over  the  years.  The  newspaper  as  a  social  institution  has 
become  what  it  is  by  name,  a  newspaper,  and  not  an  editorial  paper. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Carlson,  I  must  interrupt  you.  1  think  we  are 
going  too  far  afield.  This  is  an  investigation  of  alleged  communism 
in  the  moving-picture  industry. 

Mr.  Carlson.  I  am  very  sorry,  sir. 

The  Chairmax.  I  think  to  get  into  that  field  is  something  that  this 
connnittee  hasn't  even  thought  of. 

Mr.  Carlson.  That  is  right ;  I  agree  w^ith  you. 

The  Chairman.  As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  any  man  can  write  any 
darn  thing  about  me  that  he  want  to.  That  is  up  to  him.  And  I  think 
the  other  members  of  the  committee  feel  the  same  way, 

jVIr.  McPowELL.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  say  something  in  view  of 
what  Mr.  Carlson  has  just  said?  I  am  a  very  great  admirer  of  the 
gentleman  and  his  knowledge  and  brains  but,  as  an  editorial  writer, 
I  am  not  inclined  to  agree  with  him.    I  hope  we  are  not  through  yet. 

The  Chairman.  xA.11  right ;  you  people  have  your  private  conver- 
sation afterward. 

The  Chair  would  like  to  anounce  at  this  time  that  the  first  witness 
and  only  witness  this  afternoon  will  be  Mr.  Walt  Disney.  No  session 
on  Saturday.** 

The  witnesses  on  Monday,  the  first  two  witnesses,  will  be  Mr.  Eric 
Johnston  and  Mr.  Koy  Brewer.    Then  we- will  have  as  witnesses  Mr. 

**  See  appendix,  p.  533,  for  exhibit  57. 
67683 — 47 17 


254  COMMUNISM   IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

John  Howard  LaAvson,  Dalton  Trumbo,  Mr.  Alvah  Bessie,  and  Mr. 
Lavery.  . 

Mr.  Stripling.  Emmett  Lavery. 

The  Chairman.  Emmett  Lavery. 

Mr.  SiPiPLiNG.  Mr.  Chairman 

Tlie  Chairman.  Mr.  Stripling. 

Mr.  Stripling.  I  would  like  for  the  Chair  to  instruct  those  last- 
named  individuals  to  be  sure  and  be  present  in  response  to  the  sub- 
pena,  which  calls  for  their  appearance  on  Monday,  even  though  other 
witnesses  who  the  committee  was  unable  to  hear  this  week  will  be 
heard.  They  are  also  to  be  called  on  Monday  and  will  be  expected  to 
be  here  in  response  to  the  subpena. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  so  instructs  them,  through  their  counsel. 

Mr.  Stripling.  In  addition,  jVIr.  Chairman,  I  ask  consent  to  in- 
clude the  entire  catalog  of  People's  Educational  Center  into  the  record. 
I  ask  that  it  be  made  a  part  of  the  record,  the  entire  text. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  it  is  so  ordered. 

(The  matter  referred  to  is  as  follows  :) 

Summer,   1945 
PEOPLE'S  EDUCATIONAL  CENTER 

HOLLYAVOOD    CENTER,    1717    NORTH    ViNE     StREETT,    HOLLYWOOD    28 

HEmpstead  7263 

"It  is  of  great  importance  to  the  future  of  our  democracy  that  ways  and 
means  be  devised  to  engage  the  maximum  number  of  young  people  and  adults 
in  a  continuous,  fearless,  and  free  discussion  and  study  of  public  affairs." 

Franklin  De:lano  Roosevelt. 

Foreword 

We  are  at  this  moment  in  the  process  of  creating  a  new,  hopeful  world  predi- 
cated upon  the  closer  cooperation  and  mutual  understanding  of  the  iieoples  of 
each  nation  for  the  peoples  of  every  other  nation.  In  size  it  is  a  greatly  dimin- 
ished world  because  of  the  technological  developments  which  this  war  has  ac- 
celerated. In  spirit,  it  is  an  immeasurably  broadened  world  because  of  the 
united  desire  of  the  democratic  nations  to  create  the  mutual  understanding  and 
common  purpose  which  is  the  only  sure  way  to  achieve  a  lasting  peace. 

But  what  does  this  understanding  of  our  fellow  man  demand  of  us?  It 
demands  a  deeper  knowledge  of  him,  his  language,  his  customs,  his  social  cul- 
tural and  industrial  aims.  It  demands  the  study  of  our  own  and  the  othei' 
fellow's  long-range  historical  aspirations,  of  his  and  our  past  attempts  to  meet 
the  problems  of  a  changing,  growing  world.  It  demands  a  knowledge  of  the 
modern  tools  of  communication  by  which  we  can  further  human  progress  today- — 
the  words,  the  images,  the  symbols  of  radio,  motion  picture,  book,  pamphlet. 

The  People's  Educational  Center,  founded  only  2  years  ago,  has  achieved  a 
remarkable  success  in  equipping  its  students  to  meet  these  significant  challenges 
of  our  new  world.  In  so  doing,  it  has  also  pointed  the  way  to  enlarging  pro- 
fessional activities,  opening  up  vast  fields  of  new  and  stinuilating  undertakings. 

This  year,  for  the  first  time,  the  IVople's  Educational  Center  has  projected  a 
four-term  year.  Regular  classes  for  the  summer  term  will  be  held  at  the  Holly- 
wood Center,  and  the  PEC  will,  during  the  same  period,  augment  its  extension 
services  to  labor  organizations  throughout  the  industrial  areas  of  greater  Los 
Angeles. 

in  addition  to  this  comprehensive  study  program,  the  PEC  plans  to  become  a 
focal  point  for  forums  and  institutes  dealing  with  the  problems  of  the  day.  Its 
further  object  is  to  provide  a'connnunity  cultural  center  where,  through  the 
presentation  of  significant  theatrical,  film,  and  radio  productions,  through  art, 
music,  and  dance  festivals,  the  people's  audience  will  not  only  arrive  at  a  fuller 


COMMUNISM    IN    MOTION   PICTURE   INDUSTRY 


255 


appreciation  of  the  arts  and  the  artist,  but  will  actually  have  a  real  participation 
in  new  creative  endeavors. 

Table  of  Contents 


Calendar,  Information. 

Economics,  history,  labor  problems. 

Languages. 

Writing. 

Cinema. 

Psychology  and  child  development. 


Children's  activities. 

Recreational  theater,  body  training. 

Dance. 

Biographical  data-teaching  staff. 

Schedule  of  classes. 


CALENDAR 


Summer  term. 

Registration   begins   Monday,   May   21, 
1945. 


Classes  begin  week  of  Monday,  June  4, 

1945. 
Holiday,  Wednesday,  July  4,  1945. 


Registration 

Registi-ation  will  be  accepted  in  the  Hollywood  Center  between  2 :  00  p.  m. 
and  9 :  00  p.  m.  from  Monday,  May  21,  1945,  through  Monday,  June  4,  1945. 
Register  early  since  many  classes  are  limited  in  size.  Staff  members  will  be  in 
attendance  to  advise  prospective  students. 

The  fee  for  registration  is  one  dollar. 

School  term 

Classes  will  meet  weekly  for  twelve  one-and-one-half-hour  sessions  except 
where  otherwise  indicated.  They  will  be  held  at  the  Hollywood  Center,  1717 
North  Vine  Street. 

Tuition  fees 

The  tuition  fee  for  each  course  is  indicated  in  the  listing  of  classes.  All  fees 
are  payable  in  full  at  time  of  registration.  No  fees  returnable  except  to  those 
entering  the  armed  services.  A  list  of  courses  open  to  individual  admission  may 
be  obtained  from  the  center. 

Scholarships 

Scholarships  offered  to  union  members  and  members  of  the  armed  forces  must 
be  applied  for  in  writing  to  the  registrar.  College  students,  on  presenting  their 
student  cards,  will  be  accorded  tuition  reduction. 

Transfers 

For  a  transfer  of  class  a  fee  of  one  dollar  is  charged.  Transfers  may  not  be 
made  after  tlie  second  session  or  to  a  class  closed  to  registration. 

The  Student  Council 

The  student  council  is  an  independent  organization  of  student  representatives 
from  each  class  in  the  school.  Educational  and  social  activities  of  interest  to  the 
student  body  and  to  the  general  public  are  arranged  and  carried  out  through  the 
council.    The  council  publishes  a  student  paper. 

Forums  and  lecture  series 

The  center  will  conduct  forums  and  arrange  lecture  series  from  time  to  time. 
Students  and  those  on  the  PEC  mailing  list  will  be  notified  of  time  and  place. 

Economics — History 


LABOB  PROBLEMS 

One  World — the  foreign  policies  of  the  Big  Four 
Instructor :  Thomas  L.  Harris 
A  brief  survey  of  international  affairs  from  the  peace  of  Versailles  to  the  San 
Francisco  Conference  will  be  followed  by  detailed  examination  of  the  special 
problems  of  the  four  great  powers  as  they  affect  world  peace.  '  Emphasis  to  be 
placed  on  positive  evidence  that,  in  spite  of  basic  differences  in  economic  and 
political  structure,  the  USA,  the  British  Commonwealth,  the  USSR,  and  China  are 
developing  a  growing  common  interest.  Supplementary  lectures  by  news  and 
radio  commentators  and  specialists  in  foreign  affairs. 


256  COMMUNISM    IN    MOTION    PICTURE  INDUSTRY 

The  following  topics  will  be  included : 
Historical  survey : 

Armistice,  not  Peace  (1918-1933) 
How  the  Axis  Prepared  (1933-1939) 
False  Solutions  for  Real  Problems : 

Great  Britain  Prepares  for  Munich 

American  "Isolationism" 

The  Soviet  Union  in  Quarantine 

The  Abandonment  of  China 
Unit  for  Victory: 

The  Atlantic  Charter,  Teheran,  Cairo,  Yalta,  and  San  Francisco. 
True  Solutions  for  Real  Problems: 

Th